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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Don Mather, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby

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Blue Note 93178 



1. Just Blues
2. Violets for Your Furs
3. Down Home
4. Almost Like Being in Love
5. Wee Dot
6. Too Close for Comfort
7. These Foolish Things
8. S’Wonderful
Recorded in 1956 in New Jersey 
Jerry Lloyd – Trumpet
Zoot Sims – Tenor
Jutta Hipp – Piano
Ahmed Abdul Malik – Bass
Ed Thigpen – Drums 

For anyone who likes easy, melodic, free-swinging jazz, this album is an absolute gem. I only have to see Zoot Sims' name on a record cover to know I will enjoy the content. Zoot was inspired by Lester Young, but he had an individual style that was easily recognisable and he could swing ‘at the drop of a hat’. 

I know less of Jutta Hipp who was brought up in Leipzig in East Germany but, within months of her arrival in the USA in the 1950s, secured herself a six-month residency at the Hickory House in New York City. She suits the style of Zoot Sims style very well, she ‘comps’ very cleanly, never interrupting the lines of the other soloists. It seems incredible that some two years after this album was recorded, she gave up music altogether and worked for 35 years as a seamstress in a clothing factory. This enabled her to fund her other passion as a painter, but was a great loss to the jazz world.

Ed Thigpen was a member of the Oscar Peterson trio for many years: he is one of the finest drummers the jazz world has produced, concentrating much more on swing than noise. Would that there were many more like him. Bass player Ahmed Malik plays nice clean lines and fits in well. Trumpet player Jerry Lloyd (who wrote Down Home) also drifted in and out of the jazz world; he was also a skilled arranger and taxi driver! At the time of this recording, he was working with Zoot’s quartet. 

All of the tunes are superb examples of what a sympathetic bunch of jazz musicians can produce, but throughout it is Zoot Sims who stamps his authority on the whole proceedings. This CD is just too good to miss! 

Don Mather





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