Zoot Sims: Passion Flower (1980)

sub-title: Zoot Sims Plays Duke Ellington

Passion Flower


A1 01. It Don’t Mean A Thing 4:58
A2 02. In A Mellow Tone 2:58
A3 03. I Got It Bad And That Ain’t Good 4:47
A4 04. I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart 5:30
A5 05. Black Butterfly 3:51

B1 06. Do Nothin’ Till You Hear From Me 6:48
B2 07. Your Love Has Faded 4:45
B3 08. Bojangles 4:46
B4 09. Passion Flower 4:27


Trumpet: Al Aarons, Bobby Bryant, Oscar Brashear, Earl Gardner
Trombone: J.J. Johnson, Grover Mitchell, Benny Powell, Britt Woodman
Alto Sax: Marshall Royal,
Alto Sax, Flute: Frank Wess
Tenor Sax: Buddy Collette, Plas Johnson, Zoot Sims
Piano: Jimmy Rowles
Guitar: John Collins
Bass: Andy Simpkins (A1-A5) ; Michael Moore (B1,B4) ; John Heard (B2,B3)
Drums: Grady Tate (A1-A5) ; John Clay (B1,B4) ; Shelly Manne (B2,B3)

Benny Carter: conductor, arranger

LP Released: 1980 | Label: Pablo Today – 2312 120
CD Released: 1997 | Label: Original Jazz Classics /Pablo Records OJCCD-030-2; Original Jazz Classics OJCCD-939-2

Producer: Norman Granz

Recorded at:
Group IV, Hollywood (CA) [Engineer: Dennis S. Sands]:
#A1-A5: August 14th, 1979 ;
#B2,B3: December 10th and 11th 1979

RCA Recording Studios (NYC) [Engineer: Bob Simpson]:
#B1,B4: May 13th 1980

Liner Notes:

Design: Norman Granz, Sheldon Marks
Photography: Phil Stern

From his 1940s work with Benny Goodman and Woody Herman until his death in 1985, tenor saxophonist Zoot Sims was the quintessential jazz musician.
He always kept an enthusiastic commitment to improvising and a profound allegiance to the rhythmic art of swing.
On this 1979 date he and a big band play distinctive Ellington orchestrations written by Benny Carter, who, like Ellington, helped architect the Swing Era.
Here Sims’s melodic and evocative tenor mingles the lightness of Lester Young with some of the richly grained sound of Ben Webster, and his performances of Billy Strayhorn’s lush “Passion Flower” and Duke’s “I’ve Got It Bad (And That Ain’t Good)” are especially moving.
The band is sprinkled with outstanding veterans, including saxophonists Buddy Collette and Marshall Royal, trombonists J.J. Johnson and Grover Mitchell, and the superb pianist Jimmy Rowles.
Together they pump fresh and distinctive life into a vision of Ellington’s music that includes the spontaneous, the romantic, and the orchestral.
–Stuart Broomer (review via