Zoot Sims

In a Mellow Tone

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Like all of the CDs recorded at the long defunct E.J.'s in Atlanta, this two-CD set documents a national artist's (in this case, Zoot Sims) one-nighter accompanied by local talent, though the recording quality of this bootleg would be considered average at best, due to the over-modulations of the recording. Since Sims was joined by musicians whom he wasn't regularly working with, the songs are a mix of familiar standards ("All the Things You Are" and "Over the Rainbow") and jazz classics ("Take the 'A' Train," "The Jitterbug Waltz," and "In a Mellow Tone"). Tenor saxophonist Rick Bell sits in with Sims during the first set, though he would have been better off to have played just one number and hit the trail, as he isn't in the same league as the visiting star, proving especially inept on "Emily." The rhythm section fares much better, especially pianist Yancey Korosi, who provides excellent backing for Sims and proves to be a competent soloist, too. The leader switches to soprano sax for a driving, samba-flavored take of "Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise" and a very exotic rendition of "Caravan." While this bootleg shouldn't be considered an essential part of Zoot Sims' sizable discography, it is worth picking up if found for a reasonable price.

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