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Although it is common for a musician's debut album as a leader to bear his/her name on the front cover, Zoot was by no means Zoot Sims' first session or album under his own name. In fact, his first session as a leader (also in a quartet format), had been recorded six years earlier, on April 23, 1950, when he waxed three tunes in Sweden (one tune, in fact, was a quintet, with the addition of Toots Thielemans on harmonica). From that point forward he would record plenty of times as both a leader and a sideman prior to this album being made. Sims would also record a second album with exactly the same quartet as the one featured on Zoot in November 1956, titled Zoot Sims Plays Alto, Tenor and Baritone. He plays mostly tenor on Zoot, switching to alto on "Bohemia After Dark".