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.
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