Jim Alfredson

Bill Heid

74 posts in this topic

I'm starting a new thread on Bill Heid because more people need to know about him. He put out some fabulous records on the Savant label that anyone who calls themselves a fan of the organ should own. And for everyone who thinks Unity is the best organ record ever, you need to listen to Dark Secrets.

In fact, it was listening to that record this weekend during my drive to and from gigs that I decided to start this thread. The album is set-up just like Unity: Hammond B3, drums, trumpet and tenor (with some percussion here and there). The tunes are very Larry Young-ish (Heid having studied with Young) but there is also some greaze on tunes like "That Dirty Thang". It also features one of my favorite drummers (who happens to live right here in Lansing) Randy Gelispie.

While all of his records are great, another superb one is Bop Rascal. This is a trio date, with the amazing Perry Hughes on guitar. Perry is one of those cats that all the musicians know, but the public isn't as knowledgable about him. Perry is second to no one on the guitar: The guy can hang with anyone. An incredible player in the Wes tradition, I try to see Perry play whenever I can.

I'll never forget seeing Bill Heid play for the first time at the Detriot Jazz Festival. He went on right before Jimmy McGriff. Joey DeFrancesco was going on after Jimmy, and both of them were backstage during Bill's set. Bill had Perry and Randy with him and they were playing their asses off. I was watching Joey's reactions and every now and then he would just look back at Jimmy or Houston Person (who was playing with Jimmy, I believe) with a look of "man, this guy can PLAY!" on his face.

Y'all gotta get hip to Bill Heid. He's the real deal.

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I'm starting a new thread on Bill Heid because more people need to know about him. He put out some fabulous records on the Savant label that anyone who calls themselves a fan of the organ should own. And for everyone who thinks Unity is the best organ record ever, you need to listen to Dark Secrets.

In fact, it was listening to that record this weekend during my drive to and from gigs that I decided to start this thread. The album is set-up just like Unity: Hammond B3, drums, trumpet and tenor (with some percussion here and there). The tunes are very Larry Young-ish (Heid having studied with Young) but there is also some greaze on tunes like "That Dirty Thang". It also features one of my favorite drummers (who happens to live right here in Lansing) Randy Gelispie.

While all of his records are great, another superb one is Bop Rascal. This is a trio date, with the amazing Perry Hughes on guitar. Perry is one of those cats that all the musicians know, but the public isn't as knowledgable about him. Perry is second to no one on the guitar: The guy can hang with anyone. An incredible player in the Wes tradition, I try to see Perry play whenever I can.

I'll never forget seeing Bill Heid play for the first time at the Detriot Jazz Festival. He went on right before Jimmy McGriff. Joey DeFrancesco was going on after Jimmy, and both of them were backstage during Bill's set. Bill had Perry and Randy with him and they were playing their asses off. I was watching Joey's reactions and every now and then he would just look back at Jimmy or Houston Person (who was playing with Jimmy, I believe) with a look of "man, this guy can PLAY!" on his face.

Y'all gotta get hip to Bill Heid. He's the real deal.

Ditto. Never seen him live, but his records on Savant are a blast :tup

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Just from listening to some sound clips, he sounds like he can really play. Randy Gelispie (assume you have the spelling right - CD Universe uses 2 or 3 variations) sounds like a good drummer too. Thanks for posting this - I'll be checking him out.

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Bill is indeed amazing. Although he lives right here in the D.C. area, he rarely has organ gigs. Piano/electric piano gigs are much more frequent.

Only person I've ever met who's been on Oprah. Well, maybe not anymore, I met Phylicia Rashad last night.

Bertrand.

Edited by bertrand

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I've played a few gigs with Bill and always had a great time. He is not only a great organist, but also has a unique vocal style and a colorful personality to match. First time I met and heard Bill play was in the late 70's. He was playing really greazy organ with "Blind Brian Lee's" blues band.

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Yeah, Bill seems to be the only man in existence who can sit down and play piano like Otis Spann one minute and then turn around and burn like Larry Young on organ the next. How he's been able to master so much in a lifetime is beyond me. And like Randy says, he sings too. One guy shouldn't be able to have that much talent! Count me as a big fan. I dig his "Wet Streets" CD quite a lot and just had it in the car last week, since I haven't listened to it in a long time. He's a neglected master for sure.

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Dark Secrets is the only Heid CD I'm familiar with and I agree it's exceptionally good. I see that there's a more recent release on Savant (2003) Da Girl with the same band which I have not heard. He must have done a promotion switcheroo.

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I could have sworn we had a thread here about Heid's work. Did it get lost in one of the server crashes? I know I've mentioned "Da Girl" in a discussion here on the forums.

I have a few Heid CDs and enjoy them all. It sounds like I should get my hands on "Dark Secrets". The only reason I didn't buy it the last time I saw it was the cheesy cover. :)

B00004WK5X.01._AA240_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg

Later,

Kevin

Edited by Kevin Bresnahan

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1887664157.01._AA240_SCLZZZZZZZ_V56255611_.jpg

I think they were playing with a "Dark Secrets" theme. Weren't they?

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1887664157.01._AA240_SCLZZZZZZZ_V56255611_.jpg

I think they were playing with a "Dark Secrets" theme. Weren't they?

:lol:

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I could have sworn we had a thread here about Heid's work. Did it get lost in one of the server crashes? I know I've mentioned "Da Girl" in a discussion here on the forums.

I have a few Heid CDs and enjoy them all. It sounds like I should get my hands on "Dark Secrets". The only reason I didn't buy it the last time I saw it was the cheesy cover. :)

B00004WK5X.01._AA240_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg

Later,

Kevin

Jim and I were listening to this disc on the road the other day. Great, great stuff!!

Btw, is he double jointed??? Look at his fingers. NOW THAT IS SCARY!!

:D

But in all seriousness, this disc is amazing.

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Yeah, Bill seems to be the only man in existence who can sit down and play piano like Otis Spann one minute and then turn around and burn like Larry Young on organ the next. How he's been able to master so much in a lifetime is beyond me. And like Randy says, he sings too. One guy shouldn't be able to have that much talent! Count me as a big fan. I dig his "Wet Streets" CD quite a lot and just had it in the car last week, since I haven't listened to it in a long time. He's a neglected master for sure.

I agree 100 percent!

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I'm starting a new thread on Bill Heid because more people need to know about him. He put out some fabulous records on the Savant label that anyone who calls themselves a fan of the organ should own. And for everyone who thinks Unity is the best organ record ever, you need to listen to Dark Secrets.

In fact, it was listening to that record this weekend during my drive to and from gigs that I decided to start this thread. The album is set-up just like Unity: Hammond B3, drums, trumpet and tenor (with some percussion here and there). The tunes are very Larry Young-ish (Heid having studied with Young) but there is also some greaze on tunes like "That Dirty Thang". It also features one of my favorite drummers (who happens to live right here in Lansing) Randy Gelispie.

While all of his records are great, another superb one is Bop Rascal. This is a trio date, with the amazing Perry Hughes on guitar. Perry is one of those cats that all the musicians know, but the public isn't as knowledgable about him. Perry is second to no one on the guitar: The guy can hang with anyone. An incredible player in the Wes tradition, I try to see Perry play whenever I can.

I'll never forget seeing Bill Heid play for the first time at the Detriot Jazz Festival. He went on right before Jimmy McGriff. Joey DeFrancesco was going on after Jimmy, and both of them were backstage during Bill's set. Bill had Perry and Randy with him and they were playing their asses off. I was watching Joey's reactions and every now and then he would just look back at Jimmy or Houston Person (who was playing with Jimmy, I believe) with a look of "man, this guy can PLAY!" on his face.

Y'all gotta get hip to Bill Heid. He's the real deal.

Jim: I have Dark Secrets and dig it too. Just that front cover alone is worth the price. (he looks the Phantom of the Opera at the Organ in B&W---hilarious) and the back one (he's holding a wallet open with cards in front of a CIA-like compound---hence the 'secrets'). The music is really happening, his tunes, the playing. My NY buddy Joe Magnarelli is on it too, and another one I think as well. They are good recordings, well worth having. Dark Secrets was like $4 or something. I mean, c'mon...

I know Bill a little too. We played years ago once and I sounded him about a Scully tour a few years ago which he didn't end up doing. I also heard him in NJ with Jimmy Ponder a few years back. Yes, he is the real deal and he earned it paying those proverbial dues. Lotta hours logged in that MFing van and doing what he calls the "orange chair tango'.

Good call, bro.... :tup

Edited by fasstrack

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Thanks. I just want more people to be hip to him because I think he stands right up there with the top players and he writes his own material (and that material has a really 'dark' sense of humor about it, much like the man himself).

I haven't listened to him in awhile, but I've been pulling out everything I have of his lately and revisiting his approach. It's just damn good stuff.

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I really like Heid. I've got all the Savant's, but not "This is my rifle", which I didn't hear about until it was out of print. He's also put one out called "Blues on the road" on the Corona label, according to AMG - though this might be another AMG album that doesn't exist.

He's made a few Blues & R&B albums, too. Two with Johnny Bassett, a very nice Detroit bluesman, of which one is still in print on Fedora and is really very nice indeed. Heid plays piano on this.

5004.jpg

Here's another good Blues album wot Bill dun

Impromptu.gif

And here's his own not quite Blues, not quite R&B, not quite jazz album that I like very much indeed. He also sings on it and plays different keyboards.

339.jpg

It says somewhere that Bill is in the Guinness Book of Records as having hitch-hiked over a million miles looking for rare blues records. You can tell he found a few :D

Mucho sense of humour in everything he does, I feel. The sleeve to "Dark secrets" is a good example. I like this one best - don't forget he's a big Don Patterson fan as well as Larry Young.

2018.jpg

MG

Edited by The Magnificent Goldberg

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he writes his own material (and that material has a really 'dark' sense of humor about it, much like the man himself).

That's why we get along ;) I write material with a lot of dark humor too. It's a great (necessary?) survival tool.... Heid cracked me up on the phone. He's a funny MF. I hope we do work together.

I listened to Dark Secrets last night after this came up. I fell out to it. Good CD. Good lookin' out, Jim and Organissimo. Y'all are some bad MFs in a cold world. Bless yiz....

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Randy asked me to weigh in here. I have had the great opportunity to play many gigs with Bill, going back to an every Sunday gig back in 1985. He has indeed been on Oprah (he tells a hilarious story about that by the way) and he played piano in a group led by Don Petterson! For real, Bill played piano and Don, of course, played organ. Bill hung with Larry in NJ, while playing at Larry's Dad's Club. He worked often with Joe Dukes and Billy James and hung with Grant Green in Detroit. He's from Pittsburgh, where he came up, musically hanging with George Benson and learning from McDuff. Bill can for sure play like the Blues like Otis Spann! He spent several years in Chicago, playing and recording with Fenton Robinson & Koko Taylor on Alligator (the first white cat). He also did Jazz gigs with Henry Johnson -- Bills on two of his Impulse! CDs. He has scored over 20 porno films by the way. He's lived and worked in Osaka, Japan and speaks fluent Japanese and can instantaneously compose Blues tunes in Japanese. On piano he digs Oscar and McCoy to name a few, on organ, Larry, Don, McDuff and also Big John and the Turbinator. He also lived in LA and played gigs with Big Jay McNeely, Roy Gaines, Kid Ramos, Lynwood Slim and others. I am proud to say that we co-produced many CDs together: working with artists like Johnnie Bassett, Alberta Adams, Joe Weaver and Bill's "Blues" CD on the Dutch Black Magic label. He sings a lot on that one. Bill has a CD in the can with Peter Bernstein. Oh yeah, I am bringing him to Detroit from Maryland over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. He has two nights at Cliff Bells (thanks Randy) and he'll play my birthday party on the 26th. Should be fun!

RJ, Detroit

www.myspace.com/rjspangler

www.spanglerbluesproductions.com

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He's made a few Blues & R&B albums, too. Two with Johnny Bassett, a very nice Detroit bluesman, of which one is still in print on Fedora and is really very nice indeed. Heid plays piano on this.

We made the one on Fedora in Pittsburgh. His brother, a fine drummer who plays with Jimmy Ponder, engineered. He is a great at that too. We drove 6 hours to Pittsburgh, cut the record with a bass player Bill knew (not me and I'm on drums!) and drove home! Johnnie is a gem by the way. Bill apears on one of Johnnie's Cannonball CDs' as well, with Chris Codish on organ. Are you folks hip to Chris Codish? He's a BIll disciple and BAD too.

It says somewhere that Bill is in the Guinness Book of Records as having hitch-hiked over a million miles looking for rare blues records. You can tell he found a few :D

Yes, Bill was BIG record collector with LOTS of crazy stories. Pittsbugh cats often dig Jazz, Blues, Doo Wop, Jump Blues, Muddy & Jimmy Reed. Thats where Bill is coming from but he also digs modern stuff too.

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He's made a few Blues & R&B albums, too. Two with Johnny Bassett, a very nice Detroit bluesman, of which one is still in print on Fedora and is really very nice indeed. Heid plays piano on this.

We made the one on Fedora in Pittsburgh. His brother, a fine drummer who plays with Jimmy Ponder, engineered. He is a great at that too. We drove 6 hours to Pittsburgh, cut the record with a bass player Bill knew (not me and I'm on drums!) and drove home! Johnnie is a gem by the way. Bill apears on one of Johnnie's Cannonball CDs' as well, with Chris Codish on organ. Are you folks hip to Chris Codish? He's a BIll disciple and BAD too.

It says somewhere that Bill is in the Guinness Book of Records as having hitch-hiked over a million miles looking for rare blues records. You can tell he found a few :D

Yes, Bill was BIG record collector with LOTS of crazy stories. Pittsbugh cats often dig Jazz, Blues, Doo Wop, Jump Blues, Muddy & Jimmy Reed. Thats where Bill is coming from but he also digs modern stuff too.

Thanks for weighing in RJ... Great posts !!! :tup

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He has scored over 20 porno films by the way.

Here comes Chewy ... :unsure:

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He has scored over 20 porno films by the way.

Here comes Chewy ... :unsure:

lol

Randy has starred in 30.

:ph34r:

:w

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He has scored over 20 porno films by the way.

Here comes Chewy ... :unsure:

lol

Randy has starred in 30.

:ph34r:

:w

:o:excited::crazy::g:lol::party::rfr

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He has scored over 20 porno films by the way.

Here comes Chewy ... :unsure:

lol

Randy has starred in 30.

:ph34r:

:w

:o:excited::crazy::g:lol::party::rfr

Well, Pretty Purdie starred in one... Lialeh

MG

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