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Chuck Nessa

Jimmy Heath RIP

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A very fine musician with a great legacy of recordings. RIP

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Not many who were better than him in arranging for mid-sized groups either. A master at getting a quart out of a pint pot.

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R.I.P.  Mr. Heath 

A great artist for sure, and a man of many skills.  When seeing him in concert, I was particularly stuck by the logic, elegance, and concision of his playing.  This man didn't waste a note.

 

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I will miss having him here on Earth but will cling to his music.

Edited by BeBop

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I don't recall any mention here of Jimmy Heath's autobiography - "I Walked With Giants". It is an interesting book that tells us much about Heath's life. Most of his recording sessions are also discussed. A very worthwhile read.415wjdpSfXL._AC_UY218_ML3_.jpg

 

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Another Giant goes away. And a superb composer disappears...

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One of my jazz heroes who I saw many times over the years in a variety of formats. His autobiography is indeed excellent and I got him to sign my copy a few years ago. RIP Dr Heath.

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I have a number of Jimmy Heath's recordings I enjoy, esp. Picture of Heath on Xanadu, and couple of later big band dates. I was never quite as taken by the Heath Bros. recordings. Right now about 90% of my music collection is packed away in boxes for a move later in the year, so all the Heath recordings are inaccessible to me at the moment. But there's always Spotify and I-tunes. 

Edited by John Tapscott

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They just played an interview Phil Schaap did with Jimmy Heath, and Jimmy said he had a recording date with Miles Davis, and they called him just before the date. and said that Charlie Parker was broke, and needed some money, so Bird was going to replace him.

Jimmy agreed, but asked them to record a tune he just wrote called "The Serpent's Tooth". They picked it up, and recorded it, but Miles Davis took credit for the tune Jimmy wrote.

heath described himself as naive....

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12 minutes ago, sgcim said:

They just played an interview Phil Schaap did with Jimmy Heath, and Jimmy said he had a recording date with Miles Davis, and they called him just before the date. and said that Charlie Parker was broke, and needed some money, so Bird was going to replace him.

Jimmy agreed, but asked them to record a tune he just wrote called "The Serpent's Tooth". They picked it up, and recorded it, but Miles Davis took credit for the tune Jimmy wrote.

heath described himself as naive....

Thnx for sharing ....

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But Miles did not steal "C.T.A." when he recorded it with Jimmy.

 

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Miles more than made up for it by recording Gingerbread Boy.

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I wouldn't call "The Serpent's Tooth" one of Jimmy's great compositions.

 

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"The Voice of the Saxophone"...wow, what a beautiful piece of music.

 

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7 hours ago, Milestones said:

I wouldn't call "The Serpent's Tooth" one of Jimmy's great compositions.

 

Or Miles' ;)

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It's very rare to possess a "triple threat" in Jazz -- talents of composition, arrangement, and instrumental prowess.  Jimmy Heath had all.

Compositions: possibly "Gemini" is the most distinctive. but personally I love "For Minors Only".  Chet Baker was the best interpreter of that tune.

Arrangement: The Heath Brothers, Little Man Big Band, etc., etc.

Sax: Maybe "Picture Of Heath" (Xanadu) is the best for enjoying Jimmy's saxes.  Barry Harris also shines.  Red Garland's "The Quota" (MPS) is also a hidden gem.

R.I.P.

 

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Does anyone else think that Jimmy Heath's discography is rather thin for an artist of his stature?  He never seemed to find a decent run with any label other than Riverside in the early 60's. 

As a composer, yes, he's impressive:

  • Gingerbread Boy
  • The Quota
  • The Voice of the Saxophone
  • Ellington's Stray Horn
  • Mona's Mood
  • Big P
  • The Time and the Place
  • Gemini
  • C.T.A.
  • Trane Connections

  (and many more)

 

 

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We should not ignore the many many recordings where Jimmy Heath was a sideman. Only focusing on his dates as a leader does not by any means tell us the whole story.

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And The Heath Brothers did ok in their time - 7 albums in 8 years, all but one for "major labels" with good promotion and distribution. Plenty of Jimmy Heath compositions on those.

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47 minutes ago, Peter Friedman said:

We should not ignore the many many recordings where Jimmy Heath was a sideman. Only focusing on his dates as a leader does not by any means tell us the whole story.

He did really nice work with Art Farmer in the mid-60's.

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