Bethlehem Records was a major jazz label in the 1950s formed by Gus Wildi with an impressive roster of artists including singers Nina Simone, Carmen MacRae, Chris Conner & Mel Torme, to name a few; arrangers: Marty Paich, Russ Garcia, Frank Hunter; and musicians including: Dexter Gordon, Roland Kirk, Charles Mingus, Frank Rosolino, Herbie Mann, Stan Levey, Art Blakey, Milt Hinton, Errol Garner, Zoot Sims, Duke Ellington, JJ Johnson and many, many others. The label distinguished itself by giving artists creative control of their projects and presented albums of rather cutting edge graphic design. Its legacy is a lengthy discography that freshly and ambitiously captured and preserved an era of truly amazing music including West Coast Cool Jazz, East Coast Bop, and Vocalists. For many of the artists, their first or greatest recorded work happened at Bethlehem.
By trusting its staff and artists to make their own creative decisions, to experiment, and thus to flourish, Bethlehem actively helped create and not just document a whole and diverse era of Jazz music.
1960, when this album was recorded, was one of Zoot Sims' most productive years. The performances here are recognized as being the masterpieces of Sims' middle period.
"Recorded in 1960 (when tenor players were adopting less structured constructs), Down Home embraces band arrangements. With a skilled rhythm section (Dave McKenna/piano; George Tucker/bass and Dannie Richmond/drums), Sims breathes life into traditional songs... Pure Pleasure Records has achieved its customary, dynamic engineering on Zoot Sims Down Home. Even in mono fidelity, the overall sound quality is vibrant and sharp. The topical liner notes (by Ira Gitler) divulge insight into the sessions. While not a groundbreaking release, this is one album that stands the test of time." - Robbie Gerson, audaud.com, 4 Stars!
Click here to read the entire review!
180 Gram Vinyl
Pressed at Pallas in Germany
Re-mastered by Ray Staff at Air Mastering, Lyndhurst Hall, London
Zoot Sims, tenor sax
Dave McKenna, piano
George Tucker, bass
Dannie Richmond, drums
1. Jive At Five
2. Doggin' Around
4. I Cried For You
5. Bill Bailey
6. Goodnight Sweetheart
7. There'll Be Some Changes Made
8. I've Heard That Blues Before
Recorded in New York, New York on June 7, 1960.