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Heath Brothers

On one of the Heath Brothers' last visits to London before bassist Percy's death, Alyn Shipton talked to all three of them about their collective and individual careers in jazz.

Few families have produced three such exceptional musical brothers as Percy, Jimmy and Tootie Heath, a bassist, saxophonist and drummer who have worked at the highest level. On one of their last visits to London before Percy's death in 2005, Alyn Shipton talked to all three of them about their collective and individual careers in jazz, introducing not only the finest albums they made together, but their discs with other musicians as varied as Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Dexter Gordon and Wes Montgomery.

The Heath Brothers band was a legendary ensemble in jazz from the 1970s to the death of bassist Percy Heath in 2005. All three brothers, Percy, saxophonist Jimmy and drummer Tootie, were masters of their art, and there was a collective magic about their appearances together. But in this programme Percy also talks about his work with Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz Quartet, Jimmy remembers his earliest records with John Coltrane when they were fellow members of Dizzy Gillespie's band, and Tootie recalls the thrill of accompanying Wes Montgomery and Dexter Gordon. We also hear their work together on the albums 'Triple Threat' and 'As We Were Saying'.

1 hour

Last on

Sun 20 Jun 2010 00:00

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Music Played

  • Jimmy Heath

    Bruh Slim

    Composer: J. Heath Performers: Jimmy Heath, ts; Freddie Hubbard, tp; Julius Watkins, fr h; Cedar Walton, p; Percy Heath, b; Albert "Tootie" Heath, d. 1962. Plaza Sound Studios, New York, 4 & 17 Jan 1962.

    • Triple Threat.
    • Riverside.
    • OJCCD 1909.
  • Percy Heath

    A Love Song

    Composer: P. Heath Performers: Percy Heath, cel. New York, 1 May 2002.

    • A Love Song.
    • Daddy Jazz.
    • 25543 20032.
  • Charlie Parker's Reboppers

    Walkin'

    Composer: Carpenter Performers: MIles Davis, tp; J.J. Johnson, tb; Lucky Thompson, ts; Horace Silver p; Percy Heath, b; Kenny Clarke, d. Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey, 29 April 1954.

    • Walkin’.
    • Prestige / OJC.
    • 213-2.
  • The Modern Jazz Quartet

    Skating in Central Park

    Composer: Lewis Performers: John Lewis, p; Milt Jackson, vib; Percy Heath, b; Connie Kay, d. Avery Fisher Hall, New York, 25 Nov 1974.

    • The Complete Last Concert.
    • Atlantic.
    • 7 81976-2 CD 2.
  • Jimmy Heath

    The More I See You

    Composer: Gordon / Warren Performers: Jimmy Heath, ts; Cedar Walton, p; Percy Heath, b; Albert "Tootie" Heath, d. Plaza Sound Studios, New York, 4 & 17 Jan 1962.

    • Triple Threat.
    • Riverside.
    • OJCCD 1909.
  • Dizzy Gillespie

    Coast To Coast

    Composer: Gillespie / Harding Performers: Dizzy Gillespie, Don Slaughter, Willie Cook, Elmon Wright, tp; Matthew Gee, Sam Hunt, Charles Greenlea, tb; Jimmy Heath, John Coltrane, Jesse Powell, Paul Gonsalves, Al Gibson, reeds; John Acea, p; Floyd Smith, g; Al McKibbon, b; Specs Wright, d.9 Jan 1950.

    • The Dizzy Gillespie Story.
    • Proper.
    • Properbox 30 CD 4.
  • Jimmy Heath

    Nails

    Composer: J. Heath Performers: Jimmy Heath, ts; Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, as; Pat Patrick, bs; Clark Terry, tp; Nat Adderley, crnt; Dick Berg, fr h; Tom McIntosh, tb; Cedar Walton, p; Percy Heath, b; Albert "Tootie" Heath , d. Plaza Sound Studios, New York, 24 & 28 June 1960.

    • Really Big!.
    • Riverside.
    • 30185.
  • Jimmy Heath

    Dewey Square

    Composer: Parker Performers: Jimmy Heath, ss, ts; Tony Purrone, g; Tommy Flanagan, p; Rufus Reid, b; Al Foster, d. June 1985.

    • Changes.
    • Camden.
    • 610862 CD 2.
  • Jimmy Heath

    Trane Connections

    Composer: J. Heath Performers: Lew Soloff, Bob Millikan, John Eckert, Virgil Jones, tp; John Mosca, Eddie Bert, Bennie Powell, Jack Jeffers, tb; Jimmy Heath, Jerome Richardson, Ted Nash, Bill Easley, Loren Schoenberg, Danny Bank, reeds; Roland Hanna, p; Tony Purrone, g; Ben Brown, b; Lewis Nash, d. BMG Studios, New York, Jan & Mar 1992.

    • Little Man Big Band.
    • Verve.
    • 5139562.
  • Dexter Gordon

    Devilette

    Composer: Tucker Performers: Dexter Gordon, ts; Kenny Drew, p; Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, b; Tootie Heath, d. July 1967. Jazzhus Montmartre, Copenhagen, Denmark, 20 July 1967.

    • The Montmartre Connection, Vol. 1.
    • Black Lion.
    • BLP 30102 S1 T 1.
  • Wes Montgomery

    Four on Six

    Composer: Montgomery Performers: Wes Montgomery, g; Tommy Flanagan, p; Percy Heath, b; Tootie Heath, d. Reeves Sound Studios, New York, 26 Jan 1960.

    • The Incredible Jazz Guitar Of Wes Montgomery.
    • Riverside.
    • 0362.
  • The Heath Brothers

    South Filthy

    Composer: P. Heath / J. Heath / A. Heath Performers: Jimmy Heath, ts; Percy Heath, cel; Tootie Heath, d. New York, Feb 23 & 24 1997.

    • As We Were Saying.
    • Concord.
    • 4777-2.

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