Sims started his relationship with Pablo in 1978; this Dec 79 session shows why he was in hog heaven with the label. Here, he teams up with brother Ray, a trombonist, on a group of obscurities that make you wonder where they’ve been all these years. Along with pianist Jimmy Rowles (who seemed to gravitate towards breathy tenors), John Heard-Michael Moore/b and Shelly Manne-John Clay/dr the Sims brothers glide through Al Cohn’s “Danielle,” Andy Kirk’s “Now I Lay Me Down to Dream of You” along with the Ellington hopper “The Jeep Is Jumping.”
Unassuming, unpretentious, and unforgettable music.
The blend of Zoot Sims’s tenor saxophone and Ray Sims’s trombone must have been made in heaven. But the brothers went their separate ways early in their careers and there are precious few examples of sibling collaborations. The Swinger is the most extensive. It occupies a special place in Zoot’s considerable Pablo discography not only because of the family reunion but because of the extraordinary degree to which the album lives up to its title. Jimmy Rowles is at the piano, as he often was when Zoot recorded. It is likely that Rowles reached into his bottomless trunk of little-remembered songs for “Now I Lay Me Down to Dream of You” and “The Moon Is Low.” Another of Zoot’s favorite companions, Shelly Manne, is on drums. The dependable John Heard, of the huge sound, is the principal bassist. Michael Moore has a notable guest appearance. A highlight is brother Ray’s plaintive treatment of Al Cohn’s “Danielle.’
with Ray Sims, Jimmy Rowles, John Heard, Michael Moore, Shelly Manne, John Clay