Zoot Sims With Bucky Pizzarelli

This is a wonderful CD that should be much better known, a set of duets by tenor-saxophonist Zoot Sims and guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli from 1976. Sims was always known as one of the most swinging of all jazz musicians. He had longtime associations with Benny Goodman, Woody Herman and fellow tenor Al Cohn. While he was a pro when he turned 15 in 1940, Sims continued to evolve and grow throughout his career. He was at the peak of his powers in the 1970s. Bucky Pizzarelli mostly worked in the studios during the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s, mastering the seven-string guitar and sometimes playing with Benny Goodman. He began to be heard on many more jazz dates in the 1970s including with Bud Freeman and Stephane Grappelli.

For this unique set of duets, Zoot Sims and Bucky Pizzarelli perform a few standards plus some basic originals. Pizzarelli plays beautiful chords behind Sims and functions well as the entire rhythm section, taking some heated solos of his own. Sims sounds inspired by the sparse setting and one never notices the absence of piano, bass and drums. With musicians as brilliant as Zoot Sims and Bucky Pizzarelli, there is simply no need for anyone else.


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What Is This Thing Called Love? Tooz Blues Not So Deep Take Ten Mynah Blooze Watch What Happens There Will Never Be Another You Willow Weep For Me

Additional Info

Additional Info

Format: Jazz Record
Soloist/Artist Zoot Sims, Bucky Pizzarelli
Instruments Music and Musicians
Composer No
Accompanist/ Conductor No


Customer Reviews (3)

"Zoot and Bucky Toot!"Review by Big Toots
CJ 21 Zoot Sims with Bucky Pizzarelli

I’d be willing to wager that eventually certain Swing Era hipster verbiage (if not the iconic haberdashery) – in this case “zoot” – will once again make its way into jazz circles and perhaps gain even wider acceptance and usage in pop culture’s lingo. Maybe if the masses caught an aural glimpse of Messrs. Sims and Pizzarelli from this outstanding recording, “Zoot” might become more than a Muppet Show sax man’s moniker.

The pairing of Sims and Pizzarelli here is a production stroke of genius. Both men emanate from a classic swing background (Pizzarelli via Benny Goodman and Sims via Woody Herman) and that tradition is delivered in buckets here. Zoot and Bucky swing hard in deed and indeed as they cover eight selections, including four jazz standards (”What is this Thing Called Love?,” “Willow Weep for Me,” “Watch What Happens,” and “There Will Never Be another You”). Across the entire session, Sims lets his well-respected creative geyser explode. He’s non-stop and non-scuffle as his endless ribbons of melody-gravitated improv ride “wild” over Pizzarelli’s robust harmonic strumming. The pair works brilliantly together and is as tasteful as can be.

Performing in a duo format with a soloist upfront places significant challenges for a guitarist. The player actually becomes a “trio,” miming keyboard, bass and drums all at once. Pizzarelli, a true accompanist Master, is ideal and up for the job. And, when soloing, he keeps that “trio” all driving below.

Whether the “zoot suit” will return in vogue is up to the European haute couture folks. However, while you’re waiting for vintage fashions to take hold, flip this side on. Zoot and Bucky will definitely grab you by your musical lapels and provide a swinging lift for what may soon be your two-toned footwear.

(Posted on 6/8/2015)
Zoot Sims: With Bucky PizzarelliReview by Simon Sez
One of the most fun parts about collecting jazz records is finding a classic album that no one seems to know about. Zoot Sims recorded a duet album with the great guitarist Joe Pass, but I never knew until recently that he also did a duet date with Bucky Pizzarelli. Since the two musicians have a lot in common (always swinging, being melodic and tasteful musicians, surviving periods playing with Benny Goodman), it is not surprising that this set is a total success. It is only surprising that they did not do this more often, and that no one has heard of this!
Recorded in 1976, Zoot and Bucky play such fun tunes as “There Will Never Be Another You” and “What Is This Thing Called Love,” come up with a few simple originals (including “Tooz Blues”), and have a great time. Listeners will find this one very easy to enjoy, for who doesn’t love Zoot and Bucky?

Simon Sez: Zoot Sims With Bucky Pizzarelli (CJ21) is an unknown but very rewarding duet album that is as great as listeners would expect from these two.
(Posted on 5/6/2014)
Review by –Scott Yanow
"The combination of Zoot Sims and Bucky Pizzarelli works perfectly throughout this set. Playing a few standards plus some basic originals that utilize familiar chord changes, they jam happily together. Zoot swings while Bucky plays beautiful chords behind him and emerges to take some heated solos of his own. The results are quite exquisite and joyful, bringing out the best in both masterful players." (Posted on 6/12/2013)

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