Two rare sets by the legendary pairing of Zoot Sims and Al Cohn – both of them a perfect example of the magic of that group! The first 8 tracks on the session feature Sims and Cohn blowing beautifully over a set of Hoagy Carmichael compositions – taken in a laidback, mellow-blowing way that's extremely nice – and which seems a bit of a contrast to some of the other sets of work by the pair from the time. The tunes are arranged by Bill Elton, and feature trumpet by Nick Travis and trombone by Jimmy Cleveland – and Zoot plays a bit of clarinet, as well as tenor, and Cohn seems to handle the clarinet too, plus a bit of baritone. Carmichael titles include "The Nearness Of You", "Skylark", "Two Sleepy People", "Up A Lazy River", and "I Get Along Without You Very Well". The remaining 8 tracks on the CD are from an equally obscure session from 1961 – one that features Sims and Cohn back on tenors, plus Mose Allison on piano, Gus Johnson on drums, and Bill Crow on bass – plus guest vocals by Cecil "Kidd Haffey" Collier on 3 tracks! The instrumental numbers on the set are a great extension of the Cohn/
Sims sound of the 50s – spaciously recorded, with the horns hanging together perfectly in midair – and the vocal tunes have a blusier sound that's a real surprise. Titles include "Nagasaki", "Sweet Lorraine", "Autumn Leaves", "The Thing", and "Morning Fun". And honestly, we'd never heard either of these sessions before, and can't find them in our records – or else we'd tell you the original label for release. But at some level, that must make them all the rarer!
(Out of print.)