Monthly Archives: October 2016

Jazz and Hiroshima(1)

October 31, 2016



The Carp, who won the Central League pennant for the first time since 1991, were trying to win their first Japan Series title since 1984.

Unfortunately Hiroshima Carp was defeated by Nippon Ham Fighters at the Japan Series.

When I was a company employee, I had lived in their hometown, Hiroshima city and Sapporo city.




Last Month Hiroshima jazz scene had been featured in commemoration of the victory of Central League pennant at “Way Out West” that is published as Kansai Jazz Guide in Osaka from 2009.

Tomorrow, I will meet my senior Akihiro Nakamura for talking about jazz in Hiroshima.

After tomorrow, I want to post about jazz in Hiroshima.


Jimmy Heath(6)

October 29, 2016

Jimmy Heath is still a vibrant part of today’s Jazz scene.

He is performing as a saxophonist, composing and arranging.

In addition he is Jazz educator.

Recently I watched a wonderful clip by Jazz Video Guy.

Here is Happy 90th Birthday Jimmy Heath

Finally, I will introduce my favorite his work.

Here is Jimmy Heath Quartet play “Body and Soul”.

Here is Roberta Gambarini with Jimmy Heath sings “Take The “A” Train” (2010 Taichung Jazz Festival).

Here is Jimmy Heath and Tootie Heath play “Fungii Mama”.

Jimmy Heath(5)

October 28, 2016


The three brothers finally officially got together as The Heath Brothers in 1975.

In this group, Heath played tenor saxophone and soprano saxophone as well as flute.

They made the first work “Marchin’ On”,and issued nine albums since then.

Unfortunately their elder brother Percy Heath died in 2005.

Courtesy of Dansun Productions

Courtesy of Dansun Productions

When Percy died in 2005, the brothers decided to carry on, bringing in bassist David Wong.

The latest Heath Brothers album,” Endurance”, was released without Percy in 2009.

I found The Heath Brothers live performance from the Village Vanguard.

We can find live streams of audio and video at NPR Music’s Village Vanguard page.

WBGO Jazz 88.3FM”Live At The Village Vanguard” Go here


In addition I want introduce the engaging and insightful 70-minute documentary DVD “Brotherly Jazz”.

Please refer to JazzTimes’ article.Go here

Here is “Brother Jazz”

Here is The heath brothers play “smilin’ billy suite part 1”.

Here is the footage from the recording session “Endurance”.

Here’s the another footage from the recording session “Endurance”.





Jimmy Heath(4)

October 27, 2016


Today I will post his activities after getting out of prison.

In 1959 he was paroled.

Until then Heath had joined as a sideman, including sides with Gillespie, Miles, J. J. Johnson and Kenny Dorham.

But he had not recorded an album under his own name.


Jimmy Heath and Orrin Keepnews [Photo from Jazztimes]

Jimmy Heath was contracted with Orrin Keepnews through Kenny Dorham ‘s help.

In September 1959 Orrin Keepnews produced his debut album “The Thumper”.

Then he had recording with Freddie Hubbard, Wynton Kelly, and other top players at that time in Riverside label.

He made the six albums as a leader for the label between 1959 and 1964.

Orrin Keepnews said about Jimmy Heath.

I quoted “Orrinology” from Jazztimes[March 2005].

“I’ve known Jimmy Heath since 1960. Kenny Dorham told me that Little Bird was coming to New York and I had to sign him! He wasn’t asking me, he was telling me. It turned out that Jimmy, whose reputation back then was that he was a damn good writer, had the ability to write quick charts for small groups. I put him right up there in this ability with Benny Golson.”

Here is Jimmy Heath Sextet play “For Minors Only”.

Here is Jimmy Heath and his big band play “Big ”P’’”.

Here is Jimmy Heath sextet play ” When Sunny Gets Blue ”

Here is Jimmy Heath sextet play “Gemini”.

Here is Jimmy Heath and Herbie Hancock with Brass play “Wall to Wall”.

Here is Jimmy Heath quintet play “Gingerbread Boy”.

Jimmy Heath(3)

October 26, 2016
Jimmy Heath and friends at a session at New York's WOR Studios in 1953. Left to right: Miles Davis, Kenny Drew, Art Blakey, Jimmy Heath. Temple University Press / Jimmy Heath collection

Jimmy Heath and friends at a session at New York’s WOR Studios in 1953. Left to right: Miles Davis, Kenny Drew, Art Blakey, Jimmy Heath.
Temple University Press 

Jimmy Heath’s reputation as a jazz player has been partly overshadowed by his gifts as a composer and arranger.

In 1953 he began recording with Miles Davis, Clifford Brown and Kenny Dorham.

He made a now-legendary Blue Note Records date with Miles Davis and J.J. Johnson.


As an event worthy of special recording,they recorded Jimmy Heath’s compostition “C.T.A”.

In 1954, he was arrested and convicted for drug possession.

So he spent 4 1/2 years in prison,and he was released in 1959.

Unfortunately he could not play an active part in modern jazz history.

While in prison he composed many famous pieces.


Photo of Tootie Heath from DrummerWorld

He got them out to Chet Baker by passing them to his brother Tootie Heath.

Chet and Art Pepper made an album [Playboys] that included mostly his songs.

Here is Miles Davis sextet play “C.T.A.”.
Miles Davis (tp), J.J. Johnson (tb ) Jimmy Heath (ts) Gil Coggins (p) Percy Heath (b) Art Blakey (ds)

Here is Chet Baker & Art Pepper play “C.T.A”.
Chet Baker (tp),Art Pepper (as),Phil Urso (ts),Carl Perkins (p),Curtis Counce (b),Larance Marable (ds)

Jimmy Heath(2)

October 25, 2016


He played with virtually every modern jazz trumpeter, including Howard McGhee, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Kenny Dorham, Lee Morgan, Art Farmer and Freddie Hubbard.


[Portrait of Thelonious Monk, Howard McGhee, Roy Eldridge, and Teddy Hill, Minton’s Playhouse, New York, N.Y., ca. Sept. 1947] | Library of Congress

 First he got on the road as a professional musician by Howard McGhee.

His earliest recordings were with Howard McGhee in 1948.

Also he and his brother Percy went with McGhee to Paris in May 1948 for the first jazz festival.


Photo by New York Daily News

In 1949, he became a member of Dizzy Gillespie’s sextet and big band.

In those days Heath’s alto saxophone style was so reminiscent of Charlie Parker.

So it earned him the nickname “Little Bird.”

When he left Dizzy’s band, he switched to tenor saxophone.

While he was Dizzy’s bands ,he decided to be a an arranger and composer.

He learned modern voicings on the piano by Dizzy.

Dizzy was showing him something new rhythmically or harmonically on the piano.

Here is Jimmy Heath and Melissa Aldana Performing at the 2014 NEA Jazz Masters Award Ceremony & Concert.

Jimmy Heath(1)

October 24, 2016

Last week I was surprised to watch a video from my favorite website.

Jimmy Heath has performed with nearly all the jazz greats of the past 50 years.

Tomorrow, he celebrates the 90-year-old birthday.

This week I will post about Jimmy Heath.

Jimmy Heath was born in Philadelphia on October 25, 1926.

He is the middle brother of the legendary Heath Brothers (Percy Heath/bass and Tootie Heath/drums).

In 1941 his father gave him an alto saxophone for Christmas.


Photo from hodges nourredine2bchotmailfr.blogspot Charlie Parker, Johnny Hodges, and Benny Carter

As a matter of course he admired Benny Carter and Johnny Hodges.

He practiced his saxophone very hard.

He became a road musician out of Philadelphia at 18 years old, traveling with Omaha’s Nat Towles Orchestra.

Then he started his own band in 1946.



He formed an experimental big band that included young Philadelphians such as Benny Golson and John Coltrane.

I want to introduce a rare photo from The Philadelphia City Archive.

(1)Jimmy Heath playing with the Calvin Todd Orchestra, 1944.

(2)The Jimmy Heath Orchestra, 1947. Go here