"Change of Address" commemorates Sims’s homecoming to his alma mater, West Virginia University in Morgantown, which has named him Director of its Jazz Studies Department 20 years after he earned his own jazz studies degree there.
The music on the album is notable for instilling the jazz-soul tradition with an up-to-the-minute sensibility and is deftly interpreted by the leader, joined by an intriguing collection of players for whom he wrote its tunes, Ellington-style. They include the wife-and-husband team of organist Nina Ott and bassist Chris Lopes (a longtime crony of guitarist Jeff Parker), and a pair of young Boston-area veterans in guitarist Steve Fell and drummer Jared Seabrook (older brother of guitar provocateur Brandon).
Sims (b. 1974) started playing the baritone in the fifth grade in his hometown of Staunton, Virginia, but only became dedicated to this most colossal of saxes after bringing a tenor to a class at the New England Conservatory (NEC) and having his instructor chide him he would never be great on it because he would be following in the footsteps of too many legends.
Far from taking offense, Sims took his teacher’s words to heart. “There are a lot of gold standards on tenor,” he says. “I was trying to find a way to move past those influences. Playing the baritone felt really natural to me. I felt like I could do something personal and interesting with it.” A compelling example of this is Sims’s “Seeds of Shihab,” a tribute to baritone great Sahib Shihab, which like the other tracks on "Change of Address" luxuriates in the brawny, bottom-rich sound of the instrument.
Sims attended his first jazz concert, by Michael Brecker, in tenth grade, and saw the World Saxophone Quartet perform the following year. His fascination with the saxophone went “over the top” after he spoke with members of the WSQ following the show.
At WVU, he had a strong saxophone teacher in David Hastings, who schooled him in traditional styles. At NEC, where he played clarinet in addition to baritone, alto, and tenor, he tried to catch up to all the kinds of music he hadn’t been exposed to, including Third Stream, under the wing of distinguished faculty members Gunther Schuller, George Russell, and Ran Blake.
Sims went on to study for his doctorate in classical music performance at Boston University, where his lecture recital was on the modern Italian composer Luciano Berio and his solo Sequenza pieces. He also did research work on Igor Stravinsky, Charles Ives, and American popular music.
Sims made his recording debut as a leader with the trio effort "Acoustic Shadows" (2009). He followed it with another three-man outing "Convergence" (2011), the collective quartet album "The New Stablemates" (2012), and "Layers" (2016), on which he overdubs himself playing saxophones, clarinets, and flute on tunes by Ellington, Monk, and Mingus.
Offer for Wilson
Seeds of SHihab
Ghost Guest 1979
Leap of Faith
Tower of Fazenda
Lights and Colors
Jared Sims: baritone saxophone
Steve Fell: guitar
Nina Ott: organ
Chris Lopes: bass
Jared Seabrook: drums