Rune Gustafsson

The Sweetest Sounds

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AllMusic Review by

Zoot Sims had just returned from one of his many trips to Europe that he took during his career. He was recording there with groups which included Kenny Drew and Niels-Hennings Orsted Pedersen. Someone had the idea of getting him together with the solid Swedish jazz guitarist Rune Gustafsson. Up until then Gustafsson had pretty much recorded for the Swedish label Sonet and was putting to wax a fair amount of pop tunes of the day, like an album devoted to the songs of Stevie Wonder. This session was under the ostensible leadership of Gustafsson, but everyone else was American born except Czech native, George Mraz. That this get together was a relaxed affair (as things usually were with Sims) is very apparent. The eight-song program includes nothing adventurous that would require much thinking or musical dexterity on the part of these experienced musicians. The many moods which characterized Sims' playing are evident here: slightly boppish on "The Sweetest Sounds" to a sophisticated swing on "Stompin' at the Savoy" and Brazilian on "Waters of March" with a little fun thrown in from Elton John's "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road." Irrespective of the mood Sims sax creates, Gustafsson never loses touch. The other members of the cast comport themselves with distinction as well. Listen to Mraz's magic bass fingering opening "Stompin' at the Savoy." All in all, this was an entirely satisfactory proceeding. The Fantasy Record Group should consider reissuing this LP on a CD.

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