Peace of Mind
On an academic level, Sims has all the right bases-or shall we say 'bassists' covered. The structural inspiration for his music began after his move to Boston from Chicago. Sims attended Berklee College of Music in Boston where he majored in music theory, composition, and arranging. While studing at Berklee he also studied and was associated with the Elma Lewis School of Fine Arts, also in Boston. The inspiration for his first musical improvisations beyond academia came after joining a band formed of Berklee graduates which began touring the East Coast. Sims' early musical experimentations in Jazz, R&B, Funk, Gospel, and Reggae were obvious outgrowths of the many local 'jam sessions' played throughout Boston, New York, and New Jersey during this period. Most revealing was Sims' ability to stay musically 'tuned-in' --- particularly to members of the jazz community --- for innovations in music improvisation. Constantly in a state of readiness, he studied and performed with greats such as Randy Weston, Ernie Wilkens, Rich Appleman,John Neves, and others --- whenever, wherever, and as often as he could. Make no mistake about it, Sims paid his dues during those years and he lived the life --- a life of grueling schedules, woefully bad food, and relative small wages, in towns whose names are now easily forgotten. Such was the price paid for the chance to scale the next musical mountain, to deliver the next all-absorbing solo, and to hit the next chord that would propel him and his art down the path toward a deeper musical fulfillment. Ultimately, the journey over life's musical avenues led Sims back home to Chicago. Here he quickly accumulated a lengthy volume of credits-- from live performances at ETA and Black Ensemble Theaters, to studio recordings, accompaniments, CD recordings, and other free-lance projects. He founded his own record company (Nile Music) and his own publishing company (D.I.S.). And when you look at Sims' performance credentials, some of the great names are there -- Randy Weston, Alex Bugnon, Robert Irving III, Phil Cohran, Oscar Brown Jr., R-Kelly. Certaintly his academic and instrumentation background, and his aspirations to build upon the already rich tradition of jazz, bespeaks of his qualifications to tackle and complete almost any musical assignment. Needless to say, as a skilled bassist, Dexter Sims may just be the 'fresh talent', 'that piece of puzzle', that'rare find', that is so elusive--- that everyone looks for, and when it shows up is so easily recognizable.