1. All the Things You Are
2. Allen's Alley
3. Minor Meeting for Two Clarinets
4. Falling in Love with Love
5. Blue Night
6. Open Door
7. I Surrender Dear
9. These Foolish Things
10. I'll Remember April
Zoot Sims - Alto sax, tenor sax, soprano sax (tracks 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 11)
Hans Koller - Alto sax, tenor sax, soprano sax (tracks 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 11)
Willie Dennis - Trombone (tracks 5, 9, 10, 11)
Adi Feuerstein, Gerd Husemann - Flutes (tracks 5, 6)
Helmut Brandt - Flute, baritone sax (tracks 5, 7, 11)
Hans Hammerschmid - Piano
Peter Trunk - Bass
Kenny Clarke - Drums
Recorded live in Baden-Baden, June 23, 1958
Despite a prodigious alcoholic intake, Zoot Sims was one of the most consistent jazz musicians of the post-war era. If he ever made a poor recording, then I've not heard it. These tapes languished in the Sdwestrundfunk archives for many years but are well worth hearing. The live recording was made at a concert mainly featuring Zoot with Austrian tenorist Hans Koller, local musicians Hammerschmid and Trunk, with the great Kenny Clarke, then living in Paris, on drums.
Zoot gets things under way with a typical, swinging solo on All the Things You Are but Koller shows that he is also an accomplished soloist with a Getz-like edge to his playing. Denzil Best's Allen's Alley, also known as Wee (but incorrectly listed as Alan's Alley on the CD sleeve), has a rollicking solo by Zoot fired by Kenny Clarke's powerful drumming. Sims and Koller take up their clarinets on the next track. I'm going to stick my neck out and say that Koller solos first as Zoot has a warmer, more rounded tone and this follows. Zoot is not present on Richard Rodgers' tune Falling in Love with Love which is a feature for Koller.
From track 5 onwards, more musicians, notably the fine trombonist Willie Dennis, enter the fray with a six-piece front line on Blue Night sounding as if it had been rehearsed. Open Door unusually has Zoot on alto but is mainly a feature for a long drum solo by Clarke. Zoot has another excellent solo on tenor on Tangerine, then Dennis takes his chance in the spotlight on These Foolish Things and (with Koller) on I'll Remember April. Trottin', a riff credited to Zoot, provides a cheerful finale for a three-man front line with solos by Sims and Dennis.
Zoot fans will not be disappointed - except, perhaps, for the four tracks on which he doesn't play.