Zoot Sims

Happy Over There

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Happy Over There Review

by Scott Yanow

There is less than a half-hour of music on this date and the liner graphics are dumb but there are some fine moments to be heard from the boppish players. Pianist Elliott Lawrence actually organized the date (which was not released until this LP came out in 1987) and Bill Elton wrote the colorful arrangements. In addition to tenor-saxophonist Zoot Sims, the other musicians include Al Cohn (sticking to baritone), trumpeter Nick Travis, trombonist Jimmy Cleveland, bassist Milt Hinton and drummer Osie Johnson. Together they perform eight of Hoagy Carmichael's best-known compositions including "Skylark," "The Nearness of You," "Georgia on My Mind" and "Stardust." The playing is fine although, due to the set's brevity, this LP is only recommended to those listeners who can find it at a budget price.