Personnel: Count Basie (piano, organ); Zoot Sims (tenor saxophone); John Heard (bass); Louis Bellson (drums).
Recorded at RCA Recording Studio, New York, New York on April 9, 1975. Includes original release liner notes by Benny Green.
Digitally remastered by Phil De Lancie (1994, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California).
Personnel: Count Basie (piano, organ); Eric Miller (recorder); Zoot Sims (tenor saxophone); Louie Bellson (drums).
Liner Note Author: Benny Green .
Recording information: RCA Recording Studios (04/09/1975).
Photographer: Norman Granz.
By 1975, Count Basie and Zoot Sims had developed an unerring musical rapport. After working for many years in Basie's big band, Sims had come to embody the spirit of Lester Young and the modern amenities bebop offered. Taking Basie's music to new heights, the tenor man became one of the more pivotal players in a long roster of brilliant musicians who worked under the Count.
On BASIE AND ZOOT, we hear the two musicians in a relaxed quartet setting. Basie harks back to his stride roots, ala Fats Waller, on tunes such as "Captain Bligh" and "I Never Knew." Sims excels in this musical environment, alighting in a variety of tone colors on his saxophone, reveling in the dynamic contrast not afforded him in Basie's usual large-band setting. Sims plays particularly moving solos on "Hardav" and "I Surrender, Dear," employing a fluid and smoky sound on his instrument. On the latter, Basie wheezes away quietly at the organ, while Sims soliloquizes over top.