These early 1956 sessions feature Zoot Sims in top form playing a pair of standards and originals by members of the quintet. Bob Brookmeyer is the perfect foil for the tenor saxophonist, as they seamless interweave intricate lines throughout the record, especially in an upbeat take of "September in the Rain." Pianist John Williams contributed the cool "Down at the Loft" and solos brilliantly on every track. Brookmeyer penned the slinky "Our Pad" with drummer Gus Johnson, a track that would have fit a typical Gerry Mulligan date (with whom both Sims and Brookmeyer worked from time to time). Sims contributed three originals, but the hottest solos come in the closer, appropriately titled "One to Blow On." Anchoring the rhythm section is the great bassist Milt Hinton, who is easily identifiable after just a few notes during his solos. Though most of this music was reissued on the Biograph CD The Rare Dawn Sessions, "September in the Rain" was unjustly omitted, so serious fans of Zoot Sims will want to look for this rare LP as well.
The Modern Art of Jazz Review
by Ken Dryden