Swinging with Zoot Sims (1951) Prestige 10″

Track Selection: Zoot Swings The Blues

Only two tracks to choose from and the other sticks on the little USB TT. This one is not for the Audiophile! Surface noise level fairly high, but Zoot sure does swing.


Zoot Sims (ts) Harry Biss (p) Clyde Lombardi (b) Art Blakey (d) NYC, August 14, 1951


How far back can you go? Back…back… back a little more…1953…52..51… Stop! Maybe too far. This was a curiosity purchase, and curiosity satisfied, no more pre-1956 10″ Prestige required. Its too far back for me but perhaps not everyone. The most interesting part is the artefact.

Vinyl: Prestige PRLP 117 (10″)

This 10″ is from another time and place. Plastylite pressing – ear ear – Deep Groove – cover address 754 10th Avenue N.Y.C.

“Non-breakable long-playing microgroove”. Not terribly long-playing – I guess this has around 7 minutes per side. Cover art has some way to go – Zoot looks like he is embarking on self-administered root canal treatment with a saxoscope. What you might call “Zoot Canal Therapy“, though I wouldn’t dare.

The matrix codes don’t align with the catalogue number, but it has the ear alright. What went on with all these early recordings in the pressing plant who knows.

Collectors Corner

Source: Ebay  Location: UK

Sellers Description:

“This is so hard to find and a great listen  A rare item with no reserve, superb LP – Hugely rare USA original Prestige pressing A COLLECTABLE EXAMPLE  Superb release that is very hard to find, especially in this collectable condition, try finding another copy, let alone a better copy !!  Please bid with confidence.  This is a great addition to any collection !!

Condition of Vinyl = (A) Excellent – (B) Excellent –  Conditions of Cover = Very Good + (tape on all seams and general ageing wear)  Conditions of labels = (A) Excellent – (B) Excellent -“

OK, a new benchmark definition for vinyl condition :Excellent Minus. No, I didn’t think so either. I think I have read some of that rubric before –  a word salad of other sellers, graduates of the Bubba Djukic  school of record selling. As they said of some advertising hype in the Sixties “It’s all sizzle, and very little sausage” The seller agreed, and offered an “out of court settlement”,  single figure territory, and it’s now a great addition to my coffee table. And it’s playable.

Out of interest, Popsike has a sale in near mint condition, it is quite rare and it is quite collectible in the right condition.


4 thoughts on “Swinging with Zoot Sims (1951) Prestige 10″

  1. Sounds great, about right for an early Prestige 10″. I have quite a few of these early 10″ and I always liked the “distant” mono sound. The early Prestige 45 eps actually sound better than their 10″ counterparts because they had more lustrous vinyl, and they were 45s. Of Zoot’s Prestige 10″s, my favorite is his standards album.

  2. Great track, listening to it as I’m writing this reply. Only two tracks, but if the other one is just as enjoyable as the one featured here today, then I wouldn’t mind hearing that one as well. Maybe if you have a few minutes to spare on a rainy afternoon…? 🙂 Anyway, it’s interesting to listen closely to this recording, as Zoot is present, loud and clear, the band pushed to the background; gives the whole thing a lovely ‘old’ sound.

  3. Wow, I’ve know these tracks for years but had never seen the original cover. It was the first ever LP issued by Prestige, who soon showed that using one track per side was the downside of the extended parameters of vinyl. Not on this however. It’s a gem with Mr Swing having his fire well and truly stoked by Art Blakey. Thanks for posting this.

  4. Not sure if you noticed, but the matrix numbers reflect the individual sides ‘PRLP 166A’ and ‘PRLP 168A’ rather than the catalog number (they are also listed under ‘non-breakable’ on the label). I believe this numbering practice is a holdover from the 78 era when individual sides were very often mixed and matched on different releases.

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