Zoot Sims and Oscar Peterson: How Long Has This Been Going On


How Long Has This Been Going On?


Zoot Sims (tenor sax), Oscar Peterson (piano), and Joe Pass (guitar)


Zoot Sims and the Gershwin Brothers (Original Jazz Classics OJC 444/Pablo 2310 (SACD))

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Zoot Sims (tenor sax), Oscar Peterson (piano), Joe Pass (guitar),

George Mraz (bass), Grady Tate (drums)


Composed by George and Ira Gershwin


Recorded: New York, June 6, 1975


Rating: 97/100 (learn more)

The melody of “How Long Has This Been Going On” is one of those tunes that’s so fine and memorable it keeps replaying in our heads, with a marvelous associated feeling. This little gem of a track (2:11) begins with Joe Pass subtly setting the mood and harmonic structure with a rich chord presentation on his guitar, and then backing an exquisite, slow, soulful opening statement of the theme by Zoot on his tenor sax, with nicely creative variations, lingering meaningfully on key notes, and using rhythmic pauses to perfection. Sims continues the lovely, slow-jazzy rendering of the song with superb sax tone, slightly breathy, but well-used in the service of added feeling and texture, and with very nice vibrato endings to phrases.

Oscar Peterson plays basic piano support, unlike his sparkling piano intro and subsequent work on the superb companion track from this CD, “The Man I Love.” The bass and drum work by Mraz and Tate is very tasteful and wonderfully attuned to Zoot’s lead work and the support from Peterson and Pass. All of this produces one of the most beautiful and moving versions of this classic Gershwin tune on record.

Reviewer: Dean Alger

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