Zoot Sims, Bill Perkins (ts), Russ Freeman (p), Freddie Green, Jim Hall, Billy Bean (g), Eddie Jones, Monty Budwig (b), Sonny Payne, Mel Lewis, Frank Capp (d), Dave Lambert, Jon Hendricks, Annie Ross (vcl)
Reference: FSRCD 601
Bar code: 8427328606011
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Although Zoot Sims was born in Inglewood, in southwest downtown Los Angeles, he is always regarded as one of the great talents of the New York scene, to which he had moved in 1955, tired of the jazz they played on the West Coast and looking for fresh excitement. A follower of Lester Young, he became one of the most innovative tenor saxophonists of his generation. In March 1959 he went back to Los Angeles for a month. The first night, he was offered a spot in the Terry Gibbs band.
Highly regarded by the musicians, he was much in demand in clubs around the L.A. area. And, significantly, he also joined as a featured tenor soloist in two remarkable albums for the World Pacific Jazz Records label. The first was "The Swingers!," by Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, who added vocals to famous instrumentals and had become the hottest singing group in the country. The second, "A Gasser!" featured the talented voice of Annie Ross, with Zoot booting her along, and swinging superbly in his own solos. During these sessions, Zoot and the rhythm section swhich included Russ Freeman on piano, and guitarists Freddie Green, Jim Hall, and Billy Bean also recorded some instrumental sides that were issued on several LP compilations later on.
All the recordings from these two albums are gathered here for the first time in chronological order, including two tracks recorded after Zoot had returned to New York, on which he would be replaced by Bill Perkins. It had been a memorable visit, as these recordings amply prove.
"One of the lesser-known sets by the classic jazz vocal group Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, this LP holds its own with their more famous recordings. Assisted by tenor saxophonist Zoot Sims, pianist Russ Freeman, and guitarist Jim Hall, among others, Dave Lambert, Jon Hendricks, and Annie Ross sound at their best on such numbers as "Airegin," "Jackie" (a feature for Ross), "Swingin' 'Til the Girls Come Home," "Four," and "Now's the Time." This album is recommended to fans of this unique and influential vocal trio."
"Most of this album contains one of singer Annie Ross' finest sessions away from the premiere jazz vocal group Lambert, Hendricks and Ross. She is joined by either Zoot Sims or (on two numbers) Bill Perkins on tenor, pianist Russ Freeman, Billy Bean or Jim Hall on guitar, bassist Monty Budwig and Mel Lewis or Frankie Capp on drums. Ross' renditions of such tunes as "I'm Nobody's Baby," "Invitation To The Blues," "I Didn't Know About You" and "You Took Advantage Of Me" are highlights. Also on this set are five instrumentals taken from samplers that showcase the talents of Zoot Sims and Russ Freeman. Recommended."
Both by Scott Yanow —All Music Guide