Thursday, July 04, 2013

Zoot Sims' Compatability

Delmark recently acquired the Jump Records label and the first result of this acquisition is a Jump CD release under the name of Zoot Sims, Compatability. This is a reissue of what was a four-song, 10 inch LP from 1955 that was originally issued under the name of trumpeter Hall Daniels who composed two of the songs and arranged two standards. In 1977, Zim Records issued a ten track LP that added six alternate takes under the rubric of the Zoot Sims/ Dick Nash Octet. The present Jump Records reissue adds an additional two alternate takes and a brief bit of studio chatter. 

In addition to leader Daniels, he participants on these recordings included tenor saxophonist Sims, trombonist Dick Nash, baritone saxophonist Bob Gordon (who died in an automobile crash shortly after the 1955 recording sessions), guitarist Tony Rizzo, pianist Paul Atkerson, bassist Rolly Bundock and drummer Jack Sperling. The liner booklet reproduces producer Clive Acker’s 1977 liner notes with brief biographical information.

Daniels certainly provided attractive, clean arrangements for these swinging, ‘cool’ sounding octet recordings. At the time of the 1977 reissue, Sims had become a fairly prominent tenor saxophonist so its not surprising he shared billing with Nash then. His opening solo on the “The Way You Look Tonight displays the fluidity of his own distillation of Lester Young’s sound. Daniels' arrangements provides nice setting for Sims lead work. Trombonist Nash is well featured on Nash-Ville, which also has notable solos by Rizzo and Gordon. The ballad, You Don’t Know What Love Is features some exquisite playing from Nash along with Sims, while Gordon’s baritone plays a prominent backing role. The title track is a lively bop-flavored number with pianist Atkerson taking a nice solo before Daniels employs a mute and then Gordon digs in with authority. 

There is certainly much to enjoy of these performances and the alternate takes provide interesting contrasts to the originally issued tracks. Gordon, for example, is more prominent on the first alternate of The Way You Look Tonight. Compatability is an engaging recording whose the performances hold up over fifty years after being waxed. A final note – the album title Compatability may seem to be incorrectly spelled, but that is how it is spelled on the CD cover.

My review copy was provided by Delmark.

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