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.

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