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You Or Me

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Album Review

Jimmy Heath is in top form throughout this quartet session, which took place on the day his elder sister died after a lingering illness. Backed by his brother Albert "Tootie" Heath on drums, guitarist Tony Purrone, and bassist Kiyoshi Kitagawa, the tenor saxophonist revisits his fluid blues "The Quota" (which is very appropriately full of interesting quotes, displaying the leader's witty side) and debuts a new work, the enticing "Rio Dawn." He also delves into the works of other important jazz composers, including a lightly swinging treatment of Duke Pearson's "Is That So?," a potent arrangement of Blue Mitchell's lively calypso "Fungii Mama," and an extended workout of Tadd Dameron's "Hot House" that features each of the musicians in the spotlight to good effect. But it is Jimmy Heath's lush rendition of Duke Ellington's ballad "All Too Soon" that leaves the most lasting impression on this outstanding date.


Born: October 25, 1926 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

The middle of the three Heath Brothers, Jimmy Heath has a distinctive sound on tenor, is a fluid player on soprano and flute, and a very talented arranger/composer whose originals include "C.T.A." and "Gingerbread Boy." He was originally an altoist, playing with Howard McGhee during 1947-1948 and the Dizzy Gillespie big band (1949-1950). Called "Little Bird" because of the similarity in his playing to Charlie Parker, Heath switched to tenor in the early '50s. Although out of action for a few years...
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You Or Me, Jimmy Heath
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