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Zoot Sims in Atlanta - 1981

Updated: Feb 9, 2021

Nearly 40 years ago, tenor saxophone great Zoot Sims stopped in Atlanta to play a gig at EJ's, a jazz club in Buckhead that featured top notch local and touring jazz acts. The session, one of a number of jazz sets that were captured on tape at EJ's and eventually made their way into the possession of Storyville Records, features Sims in top, swinging form backed by an Atlanta-based rhythm section.

Pianist Jancy Korossy in the late 1970s

The band backing Sims deserves an article of their own -- at the very least -- but suffice it to say that they were more than up to the task of hanging with the great tenor saxophonist. Pianist Jancy Korossy, a Romanian expat who called Atlanta home in the late 70s and early 80s plays with power and creativity over the authoratative bass of Dewey Sampson and the drummer James Martin's propulisve swing.

Saxophonist Rick Bell

After Sims solo, saxophonist Rick Bell delivers a muscular solo that sounds angular and aggressive compared to Sims breezy style. Nonetheless, Bell is swinging and inspired. If you haven't heard this album, or some of the other releases that were recorded at EJ's in the 70s and 80s, definitely check them out. The music is uniformly great and the sessions offer a glimpse into Atlanta's rich musical past.


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