|Birth name||John Haley Sims|
|Born||October 29, 1925|
Inglewood, California, U.S.
|Died||March 23, 1985 59) (aged|
New York City, U.S.
John Haley "Zoot" Sims (October 29, 1925 – March 23, 1985) was an American jazz saxophonist, playing mainly tenor but also alto (and, later, soprano) saxophone.He first gained attention in the "Four Brothers" sax section of Woody Herman's big band, afterward enjoying a long solo career, often in partnership with fellow saxmen Gerry Mulligan and Al Cohn.
Sims was born in 1925 in Inglewood, California to vaudeville performers Kate Haley and John Sims.His father was a vaudeville hoofer, and Sims prided himself on remembering many of the steps his father taught him. Growing up in a performing family, he learned to play drums and clarinet at an early age. His brother was the trombonist Ray Sims.
Sims began on tenor saxophone at age 13. He initially modelled his playing on the work of Lester Young, Ben Webster, and Don Byas. By his late teens, having dropped out of high school, he was playing in big bands,starting with those of Kenny Baker and Bobby Sherwood. He joined Benny Goodman's band for the first time in 1943 (he was to rejoin in 1946, and continued to perform with Goodman on occasion through the early 1970s). Sims replaced Ben Webster in Sid Catlett's Quartet of 1944.In May of 1944, Sims made his recording debut for Commodore Records in a sextet led by pianist Joe Bushkin, who two months earlier had recorded for the same label as part of Lester Young's Kansas City Six.
Sims served as a corporal in the United States Army Air Force from 1944 to 1946,then returned to music in the bands of Artie Shaw, Stan Kenton, and Buddy Rich. He was one of Woody Herman's "Four Brothers". From 1954-1956 he toured with his friend Gerry Mulligan's sextet, and in the early 1960s, with Mulligan's Concert Jazz Band. Sims played on some of Jack Kerouac's recordings. From the late 1950s to the end of his life, Sims was primarily a freelancer, though he worked frequently in the 1960s and early 1970s with a group co-led with Al Cohn. In the 1970s and 1980s, he also played and recorded regularly with a handful of other musical partners including Bucky Pizzarelli, Joe Venuti, and Jimmy Rowles. In 1975, he began recording for Norman Granz's Pablo Records label. Sims appeared on more than 20 Pablo albums, mostly as a featured solo artist, but also as a backing musician for artists including Count Basie, Sarah Vaughan, and Clark Terry. Between 1974 and 1983, Sims recorded six studio albums with pianist Jimmy Rowles in a quartet setting that critic Scott Yanow wrote feature Sims at his best.
Sims acquired the nickname "Zoot" early in his career while he was in the Kenny Baker band in California. "When he joined Kenny Baker's band as a fifteen-year-old tenor saxophonist, each of the music stands was embellished with a nonsense word. The one he sat behind said "Zoot." That became his name."
Sims played a 30-second solo on the song "Poetry Man", written by singer Phoebe Snow on her debut eponymous album in 1974.He also played on Laura Nyro's "Lonely Women", on her album Eli and the Thirteenth Confession .
Sims' last studio recording was a November, 1984 trio session featuring bassist Red Mitchell, recorded in Sweden and released in 1985 by Sonet records. Zoot Sims died of lung cancer on March 23, 1985 in New York City,and was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, in Nyack, New York.
On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Zoot Sims among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.
With Pepper Adams
With Trigger Alpert
With Chet Baker
With Count Basie
With Louie Bellson
With Clifford Brown
With Ray Charles
With the Kenny Clarke/Francy Boland Big Band
With Al Cohn
With Chris Connor
With Miles Davis
With Kenny Dorham
With Jon Eardley
With Booker Ervin
With Bill Evans
With Art Farmer
With Curtis Fuller
With Benny Goodman
With Bobby Hackett
With Coleman Hawkins
With Woody Herman
With Jutta Hipp
With Chubby Jackson
With Quincy Jones
With Stan Kenton
With Jack Kerouac
With Irene Kral
With Elliot Lawrence
With Michel Legrand
With Stan Levey and Red Mitchell
With The Manhattan Transfer
With Gary McFarland
With Ted McNabb
With Carmen McRae
With the Metronome All-Stars
With Charles Mingus
With Red Mitchell
With Jack Montrose
With Gerry Mulligan
With Oliver Nelson
With Anita O'Day
With Bob Prince
With Buddy Rich and Lionel Hampton
With Shorty Rogers
With Jimmy Rushing
With Lalo Schifrin and Bob Brookmeyer
With Johnny Smith
With Phoebe Snow
With Sonny Stitt
With Clark Terry
With Sarah Vaughan
With Joe Venuti
With Chuck Wayne
With Joe Williams
Frank Wellington Wess was an American jazz saxophonist and flutist. In addition to his extensive solo work, Wess is remembered for his time in Count Basie's band from the early 1950s into the 1960s. Critic Scott Yannow described him as one of the premier proteges of Lester Young, and a leading jazz flutist of his era—using the latter instrument to bring new colors to Basie's music.
Robert Edward "Bob" Brookmeyer was an American jazz valve trombonist, pianist, arranger, and composer. Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Brookmeyer first gained widespread public attention as a member of Gerry Mulligan's quartet from 1954 to 1957. He later worked with Jimmy Giuffre, before rejoining Mulligan's Concert Jazz Band. He garnered 8 Grammy Award nominations during his lifetime.
Melvin Sokoloff, known professionally as Mel Lewis, was an American jazz drummer, session musician, professor, and author. He received fourteen Grammy Award nominations.
James George Hunter, known professionally as Jimmy Rowles, was an American jazz pianist, vocalist, and composer. As a bandleader and accompanist, he explored various styles including swing and cool jazz.
Keith Moore "Red" Mitchell, was an American jazz double-bassist, composer, lyricist, and poet.
Frederick William Green was an American swing jazz guitarist who played rhythm guitar with the Count Basie Orchestra for almost fifty years.
Al Cohn was an American jazz saxophonist, arranger and composer. He came to prominence in the band of clarinetist Woody Herman and was known for his longtime musical partnership with fellow saxophonist Zoot Sims.
Joseph Dwight Newman was an American jazz trumpeter, composer, and educator, best known for his time with Count Basie.
James "Osie" Johnson was a jazz drummer, arranger and singer.
George Duvivier was an American jazz double-bassist.
Teddy Kotick was a jazz bassist, who appeared as a sideman with many of the leading figures of the 1940s and 1950s, including Charlie Parker, Buddy Rich, Artie Shaw, Horace Silver, Phil Woods and Bill Evans. He was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts. Kotick never recorded as a leader. He died of a brain tumor in 1986, aged 57.
Gus Johnson was an American swing drummer in various jazz bands, born in Tyler, Texas, United States. After learning to play drums from his next-door neighbor, Johnson occasionally played professionally at the age of ten in the Lincoln Theater, and performed in various local groups, most notable McDavid's Blue Rhythm Band. Upon graduating from Booker T. Washington High School, Johnson moved to Kansas City, where he took up drumming full-time. He joined Jay McShann's Orchestra in 1938, with his music career being interrupted by his conscription into the military in 1943.
William Orval Crow is an American jazz bassist. Among other work, Crow was the long-term bassist in saxophonist Gerry Mulligan's bands in the 1950s and 1960s.
Richie Kamuca, was an American jazz tenor saxophonist.
Daniel Eugene Quill was an American jazz alto saxophonist who played often with Phil Woods in the duet Phil and Quill. Quill also worked as a sideman for Buddy DeFranco, Quincy Jones, Gene Krupa, Gerry Mulligan, and Claude Thornhill. In 1988, Quill died at the age of 60 in his hometown of Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Charles Lawrence Persip, known as Charli Persip and formerly as Charlie Persip, was an American jazz drummer.
Nick Travis was an American jazz trumpeter.
Elmer "Mousey" Alexander was an American jazz drummer. He is not related to Jamaican-born jazz pianist Monty Alexander.
The recordings of American jazz saxophonist Stan Getz from 1944 to 1991.