Reference: FSRCD 1643
Bar code: 8427328616430
This is improvised modern jazz at its best, just as it was presented nightly at the Half Note, one of New Yorks top jazz spots! The recording took place during a successful Zoot Sims-Al Cohn quintet engagement early in 1959, with altoist Phil Woods joining in on two tunes. These performances give the listener ample opportunity to enjoy the solo improvisations and interplay of the saxophonists. The rhythm section is devoted primarily to back the hornmen, but Mose Allisons solo piano is not to be dismissed. If you never had the chance to visit the Half Note, then this set is a must.
"Zoot Sims and Al Cohn always made great music together; this live recording documents portions of two nights' work together at the Half Note in New York City, assisted by pianist Mose Allison, bassist Nabil Totah and drummer Paul Motian. Their brisk setting of "Lover, Come Back to Me" features Cohn, Sims and Allison soloing in turn, building the fire before the eventual trading of fours between the tenor saxophonists. After a relaxed rendition of "It Had to Be You," alto saxophonist Phil Woods is added to the mix for the next two numbers, recorded the very next evening. The guest sets up the percolating mid-tempo setting of "Wee Dot," with the tenors following him. The delightful interplay within the long workout of "After You've Gone" signals the chemistry between the three friends. Bop and cool fans will want to make any effort to hear this excellent release."
Ken Dryden -All Music Guide