Music database


Zoot Sims

Zoot Sims - © Jean Geiser

born on 29/10/1925 in Inglewood, CA, United States

died on 23/3/1985 in New York City, NY, United States

Zoot Sims

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

John Haley "Zoot" Sims (October 29, 1925 – March 23, 1985) was an American jazz saxophonist, playing mainly tenor but also alto (and, later, soprano) saxophone.[1] He first gained attention in the "Four Brothers" sax section of Woody Herman's big band, afterward enjoying a long solo career, often in partnership with fellow saxmen Gerry Mulligan and Al Cohn, and the trombonist Bob Brookmeyer.


Sims was born in 1925 in Inglewood, California to vaudeville performers Kate Haley and John Sims.[2] His father was a vaudeville hoofer, and Sims prided himself on remembering many of the steps his father taught him. Growing up in a performing family, he learned to play drums and clarinet at an early age. His brother was the trombonist Ray Sims.[3]

Following in the footsteps of Lester Young, Sims developed into an innovative tenor saxophonist. Throughout his career, he played with big bands, starting with those of Kenny Baker and Bobby Sherwood after dropping out of high school after one year. He played with Benny Goodman's band in 1943 and replaced his idol Ben Webster in Sid Catlett's Quartet in 1944.[4][5]

Sims served as a corporal in the United States Army Air Force from 1944 to 1946,[5] then returned to music in the bands of Artie Shaw, Stan Kenton, and Buddy Rich. He was one of Woody Herman's "Four Brothers". He frequently led his own combos and toured with his friend Gerry Mulligan's sextet, and later with Mulligan's Concert Jazz Band. Sims rejoined Goodman in 1962 for a tour of the Soviet Union.[5]

In the 1950s and '60s, Sims had a long, successful partnership as co-leader of a quintet with Al Cohn, which recorded under the name "Al and Zoot". The group was a favorite at New York City's Half Note Club. Always fond of the higher register of the tenor sax, he also played alto and late in his career added soprano saxophone to his performances, while recording a series of albums for the Pablo Records label of the impresario Norman Granz. He also played on some of Jack Kerouac's recordings.[6]

Sims acquired the nickname "Zoot" early in his career while he was in the Kenny Baker band in California.. The name was later appropriated for a sax-playing Muppet on The Muppet Show.

Sims played a 30-second solo on the song "Poetry Man", written by singer Phoebe Snow on her debut eponymous album in 1975.. He also played on Laura Nyro's "Lonely Women," on her album "Eli and the Thirteenth Confession."

Zoot Sims died of cancer on March 23, 1985 in New York City,[4] and is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, in Nyack, New York.



  • 1949: The Brothers, with Stan Getz and Al Cohn (Prestige)
  • 1950-1954: Zootcase (Prestige) 2 LPs, released 1975
  • 1950: Quartet In Paris (Discovery)
  • 1950-1951: Zoot Sims Quartets (Prestige/OJC) two LPs (Swinging with Zoot and Tenor Sax Favorites)
  • 1953: Zoot Sims All Stars (Prestige) with Kai Winding, Al Cohn George Wallington Percy Heath, and Art Blakey
  • 1954: Zoot Sims Quintet (Prestige) with Stu Williamson - reissued as most of Good Old Zoot 12-inch LP (New Jazz, 1962; Status, 1965)
  • 1955: Nashville (Zim) with Dick Nash
  • 1956: The Modern Art of Jazz by Zoot Sims (Dawn)
  • 1956: From A to...Z (RCA Victor) with Al Cohn
  • 1956: Tonite's Music Today (Storyville) with Bob Brookmeyer
  • 1956: Whooeeee (Storyville) with Bob Brookmeyer
  • 1956: Zoot Sims – with Henri Renaud and Jon Eardley (Ducretet-Thomson) Americans Swinging In Paris CD[7]
  • 1956: Zoot! (Riverside) with Nick Travis
  • 1956: Tenor Conclave (Prestige) with John Coltrane, Al Cohn, Hank Mobley, Red Garland, Paul Chambers, and Art Taylor
  • 1956: Jutta Hipp with Zoot Sims (Blue Note) with Jutta Hipp
  • 1956: Goes to Jazzville (Dawn) with Jerry Lloyd, John Williams, Knoby Tohah, and Bill Anthony
  • 1956: Live at Falcon Lair (Pablo) with Joe Castro released 2004
  • 1956-1957: Bohemia After Dark (Jazz Hour) released 1994


  • 1957: Zoot Sims Plays Alto, Tenor, and Baritone (ABC-Paramount)
  • That Old Feeling, double-issue CD of two 1956 albums (Zoot and Zoot Sims Plays Alto, Tenor, and Baritone)
  • 1957: Hoagy Carmichael Sessions and More (Lone Hill Jazz) with Al Cohn, Nick Travis and Milt Hinton - complete session plus 1961 live date with Mose Allison released in 2005
  • 1957: The Four Brothers... Together Again! (Vik) with Serge Chaloff and Herbie Steward
  • 1957: Al and Zoot (Coral)
  • 1957: Locking Horns (Rama) with Joe Newman
  • 1958: Stretching Out (United Artists) with Bob Brookmeyer
  • 1959: The Swingers! (Pacific) with Lambert, Hendricks & Ross
  • 1959: Jazz Alive! A Night at the Half Note (United Artists) with Al Cohn and Phil Woods
  • 1959: A Gasser! (World Pacific) with Annie Ross
  • 1959-1960: Either Way (Fred Miles) with Al Cohn, Cecil Colier, Bill Crow, and Mose Allison - released 1961




  • 1976: Zoot Sims With Bucky Pizzarelli (Classic Jazz) with Bucky Pizzarelli - also released as Summon
  • 1976: Soprano Sax (Pablo) with Ray Bryant and George Mraz
  • 1976: Hawthorne Nights (Pablo)
  • 1977: If I'm Lucky (Pablo) with Jimmy Rowles
  • 1978: For Lady Day (Pablo)
  • 1978: Just Friends (Pablo) with Sweets Edison
  • 1978: Zoot Sims in Copenhagen (Storyville)
  • 1979: The Sweetest Sounds (Sonet Gramofon) with Rune Gustafsson
  • 1979: The Swinger (Pablo)
  • 1979: Warm Tenor (Pablo) with Jimmy Rowles


  • 1981: I Wish I Were Twins (Pablo) with Jimmy Rowles
  • 1981 [1995]: Art 'n' Zoot (Pablo) with Art Pepper
  • 1982: Blues for Two (Pablo) with Joe Pass
  • 1982: The Innocent Years (Pablo) with Richard Wyands and Frank Tate
  • 1983: Suddenly It's Spring (Pablo) with Akira Tana
  • 1984; Quietly There: Zoot Sims Plays Johnny Mandel (Fantasy)
  • 1985: The Best of Zoot Sims (Pablo)
  • 2002: Joe & Zoot & More (Chiaroscuro) with Joe Venuti and Bucky Pizzarelli - expanded reissue of Joe & Zoot
  • 2003: Somebody Loves Me (Lester Recording Catalog) reissue, some of this was released at the time as Nirvana)

As sideman

With Pepper Adams

  • 1964: Pepper Adams Plays the Compositions of Charlie Mingus (Workshop Jazz)
  • 1968: Encounter! (Prestige)

With Trigger Alpert

  • 1956: Trigger Happy! (Riverside)

With Chet Baker

  • 1954: Chet Baker & Strings (Columbia)
  • 1959: Chet Baker Plays the Best of Lerner and Loewe (Riverside)

With Count Basie

  • 1974: The Bosses (Pablo) with Big Joe Turner
  • 1977: Count Basie Jam (Gruppo Editoriale Fabbri) released 1981

With Louis Bellson

  • 1954: Louis Bellson Quintet (Norgran)

With Clifford Brown

  • 1954: Jazz Immortal (Pacific Jazz)

With Ray Charles

  • 1959: The Genius of Ray Charles (Atlantic)

With the Kenny Clarke/Francy Boland Big Band

  • 1962: Jazz Is Universal (Atlantic)

With Al Cohn

  • 1956: The Sax Section (Epic)
  • 1960: Son of Drum Suite (RCA Victor)
  • 1962: Jazz Mission to Moscow (Colpix)

With Chris Connor

  • 1956: Chris Connor (Atlantic)

With Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis and Oscar Peterson

  • 2000 The Tenor Giants Featuring Oscar Peterson (Pablo)

With Miles Davis

  • 1953: Plays Al Cohn Compositions (Miles Davis and Horns CD) (Prestige)

With Kenny Dorham

  • 1961: Hot Stuff From Brazil (West Wind) released in 1990

With Jon Eardley

  • 1956: The Jon Eardley Seven (Prestige), reissued in 1965 as Zoot Sims Koo Koo (Status)

With Booker Ervin

  • 1961: The Book Cooks, with Tommy Turrentine (Bethlehem)

With Bill Evans

  • 1962: Loose Blues, released 1982 (Milestone)

With Art Farmer

  • 1959: The Aztec Suite (United Artists)

With Curtis Fuller

  • 1961: South American Cookin' (Epic)
With Bobby Hackett
  • Creole Cookin' (Verve, 1967)

With Coleman Hawkins

With Woody Herman

  • 1959: New Big Herd At The Monterey Jazz Festival (released 1960 Atlantic)

With Chubby Jackson

  • 1950: All Star Big Band (Prestige)

With Quincy Jones

  • 1957: This Is How I Feel About Jazz (ABC-Paramount)
  • 1959: The Birth of a Band! (Mercury)
  • 1964: Quincy Jones Explores the Music of Henry Mancini (Mercury)
  • 1965: Quincy Plays for Pussycats (Mercury)

With Stan Kenton

  • 1953: Portraits on Standards (Capitol)
  • 1940-1954: The Kenton Era (Capitol) released in 1955

With Jack Kerouac

  • 1959: Blues and Haikus (Hanover-Signature)

With Irene Kral

  • 1959: SteveIreneo! (United Artists)

With Elliot Lawrence

  • 1957: Big Band Modern (Jazztone)

With Michel Legrand

  • 1982: After The Rain (Pablo)

With Stan Levey and Red Mitchell

  • 1954-1955: West Coast Rhythm (Affinity) released 1982

With The Manhattan Transfer

  • 1975: The Manhattan Transfer (Atlantic)

With Gary McFarland

  • 1966: Profiles (Impulse!)

With Ted McNabb

  • 1959: Big Band Swing (Epic)

With Carmen McRae

  • 1959: Something to Swing About (Kapp)
  • 1973: Ms. Jazz (Groove Merchant)

With the Metronome All-Stars

  • 1956: Metronome All-Stars 1956 (Clef)

With Charles Mingus

  • 1962: The Complete Town Hall Concert (Blue Note) released 1994

With Red Mitchell

  • 1955: Happy Minors (Bethlehem)

With Jack Montrose

  • 1954: Arranged by Montrose (Pacific Jazz)

With Gerry Mulligan

  • 1954: California Concerts (Pacific Jazz)
  • 1955: Presenting the Gerry Mulligan Sextet (EmArcy)
  • 1956: Mainstream of Jazz (EmArcy)
  • 1956: A Profile of Gerry Mulligan (EmArcy)
  • 1946-1957: The Arranger (1946-1957) (Columbia) released 1977
  • 1957: The Gerry Mulligan Songbook (World Pacific)
  • 1960: The Concert Jazz Band (Verve)
  • 1960: Gerry Mulligan and the Concert Jazz Band on Tour (Verve) released 1962
  • 1966: Something Borrowed – Something Blue (Limelight)

With Oliver Nelson

  • 1966: Encyclopedia of Jazz (Verve)
  • 1966: The Sound of Feeling (Verve)

With Anita O'Day

  • 1962: All the Sad Young Men (Verve)

With Buddy Rich and Lionel Hampton

  • 1974: Transition (Groove Merchant)

With Shorty Rogers

  • 1954: Shorty Rogers Courts the Count (RCA Victor)

With Jimmy Rushing

  • 1971: The You And Me That Used To Be (RCA)

With Lalo Schifrin and Bob Brookmeyer

  • 1963: Samba Para Dos (Verve)

With Johnny Smith

  • 1956: Moonlight in Vermont (Roost) with Stan Getz

With Phoebe Snow

  • 1974: Phoebe Snow (Shelter)

With Sonny Stitt

  • 1965: Broadway Soul (Colpix)

With Clark Terry

  • 1979: Mother! Mother! (Pablo)

With Sarah Vaughan

  • 1958: Vaughan and Violins (Mercury)
  • 1979: The Duke Ellington Songbook, Vol. 1 (Pablo)
  • 2000: Linger Awhile: Live at Newport and More (Pablo)

With Joe Venuti

  • 1974: The Joe Venuti Blue Four (Chiaroscuro)

With Joe Williams

  • 1963: At Newport '63 (RCA Victor)
  • 1989: Having The Blues Under European Sky (Lester Recording Catalog) recorded live in the 1970s


  1. ^ "Zoot Sims". All About Jazz. Retrieved August 8, 2013. 
  2. ^ [1] Archived October 26, 2005, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Levinson, Peter J. (2005). September in the Rain: The Life of Nelson Riddle. Taylor Trade Publishing. p. 140.
  4. ^ a b Folkart, Burt A. "Saxophonist John Haley (Zoot) Sims Dies at 59". Los Angeles Times, March 24, 1985. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c Lankford, Ronald D., Jr. Zoot Sims Biography. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
  6. ^ Smith, Sid (May 5, 2008). "Jack Kerouac with Al Cohn and Zoot Sims: Blues And Haikus". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2017-09-15. 
  7. ^ "Zoot Sims Avec Henri Renaud Et Son Orchestre Et Jon Eardley - Zoot Sims Avec Henri Renaud Et Son Orchestre Et Jon Eardley". Discogs. Retrieved 15 November 2017. 

External links

This page was last modified 11.09.2018 16:20:36

This article uses material from the article Zoot Sims from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.