Personnel: Zoot Sims, Al Cohn (tenor saxophone); Phil Woods (alto saxophone); Mose Allison (piano); Nabil Totah (bass); Paul Motian (drums).
Original producer: Jack Lewis.
Reissue producer: Michael Cuscuna.
Recorded live at the Half Note, New York, New York on February 6 and 7, 1959.
Zoot Sims and Al Cohn always made great music together; this live CD documents portions of two nights' work together at the Half Note in New York City, assisted by pianist Mose Allison, bassist Nabil Totah and drummer Paul Motian. Their brisk setting of "Lover, Come Back to Me" features Cohn, Sims and Allison soloing in turn, building the fire before the eventual trading of fours between the tenor saxophonists. After a relaxed rendition of "It Had to Be You," alto saxophonist Phil Woods is added to the mix for the next two numbers, recorded the very next evening. The guest sets up the percolating mid-tempo setting of "Wee Dot," with the tenors following him. The delightful interplay within the long workout of "After You've Gone" signals the chemistry between the three friends. It's a shame that no unreleased material was located for this 1998 CD reissue, but in any case, bop and cool fans will want to make an effort to acquire this excellent release. ~ Ken Dryden