Zoot Sims

John Haley " Zoot " Sims ( born October 29, 1925 in Inglewood, California, † March 23, 1985 in New York City ) was an American saxophonist of modern jazz.

Life and work

Sims grew up in a musical family, his older brother is the trombonist Ray Sims. He learned drums and playing the clarinet at the age of thirteen he moved to the tenor saxophone. He had his first professional gigs at the age of fifteen years as a member of the Bobby Sherwood Orchestra. In 1943 he became a member of Benny Goodman's big band. In 1944, he played a recording with Joe Bushkin.

After military service in the Air Force, he worked again in 1946-47 with Benny Goodman. He became famous as a member of Woody Herman's Four Brothers Band ( First stove ), between 1947 and 1949. He worked with Buddy Rich's Big Band, with Roy Eldridge ( Roy Eldridge and His Little Jazz Vol 1), Artie Shaw, Chubby Jackson, Elliot Lawrence and Stan Kenton. Since 1954, he played a recording with Gerry Mulligan and Jack Sheldon ( at Jazz West), in the early 1960s, he was the star soloist in the Gerry Mulligan Concert Jazz Band. His samples at the New York Jazz Loft with drummer Ronnie Free and pianist Bill Potts in 1960 were held by the photographer W. Eugene Smith in image and sound documents, which were published in the Jazz Loft Project 2009. In 1962 he took part in the Soviet Union to Benny Goodman's tour.

In addition, Sims led the passage of time alone or together with his friend Al Cohn own several bands. He played mostly in the cool jazz idiom. His nickname " Zoot " was later used in the television playing saxophone for a Muppet.


Lexical entries

  • Joachim Ernst Berendt and Gunther Huesmann: The Jazz Book. Frankfurt / M.; Fischer TB
  • Carlo Bohländer (ed.): Reclams jazz leader. Reclam, Stuttgart 2000, ISBN 3-15-010464-5
  • Ian Carr, Brian Priestley, Digby Fairweather (eds.): Rough Guide to Jazz. The ultimate guide to jazz. 1700 artists and bands from the beginning until today. Metzler Verlag, Stuttgart 1999, ISBN 3-476-01584- X
  • Richard Cook, Brian Morton: The Penguin Guide To Jazz on CD. 8th edition Penguin, London 2006, ISBN 0-14-051521-6.
  • Martin Kunzler: Jazz Encyclopedia. Rowohlt, Reinbek 2002 ( 2nd edition ), ISBN 3-499-16512-0 Vol 1; ISBN 3-499-16317-9 Vol 2
  • Jazz saxophonist
  • American musician
  • Born in 1925
  • Died in 1985
  • Man