Zoot sims

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Zoot Sims 1976

John Haley "Zoot" Sims (born October 29, 1925 in Inglewood , California , † March 23, 1985 in New York City ) was an American modern jazz saxophonist .

Live and act

Sims grew up in a musical family, his older brother being trombonist Ray Sims . He himself learned to play the drums and clarinet, and at the age of thirteen he switched to the tenor saxophone. He made his first professional appearances at the age of fifteen as a member of the Bobby Sherwood Orchestra. In 1943 he became a member of Benny Goodman's Big Band. In 1944 he made recordings with Joe Bushkin .

After serving in the Air Force, he worked again with Benny Goodman from 1946-47. He became famous as a member of Woody Herman's Four Brothers Band (First Herd) between 1947 and 1949. He worked with Buddy Rich's Big Band, with Roy Eldridge ( Roy Eldridge and His Little Jazz Vol. 1 ), Artie Shaw , Chubby Jackson , Elliot Lawrence and Stan Kenton . Since 1954 he made recordings with Gerry Mulligan and Jack Sheldon (at Jazz West ), in the early 1960s he was the star soloist in his Gerry Mulligan Concert Jazz Band . His rehearsals in the New York Jazz Loft with the drummer Ronnie Free and the pianist Bill Potts in 1960 were captured by the photographer W. Eugene Smith in image and sound documents, which were published in 2009 in the Jazz Loft Project . In 1962 he took part in Benny Goodman's tour to the Soviet Union .

In addition, Sims led several bands of his own over the years, either alone or together with his friend Al Cohn . He played mostly in the cool jazz idiom. His nickname "Zoot" was later used on television for a saxophone-playing muppet .


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