R.I.P. Jimmy Heath – Where’s the Melody, Where’s the Harmony?

Jimmy Heath – Where’s the Melody, Where’s the Harmony?

In between takes at a recording session, after lamenting the paucity of melody and harmony in today’s music, Jimmy Heath plays his compostion, Mona’s Mood, first recorded on his 1960 Riverside release, Really Big.

This outake is from “Passing the Torch,” a new film by Bret Primack about musical mentors.

James Edward Heath (October 25, 1926 – January 19, 2020), nicknamed Little Bird, was an American jazz saxophonist, composer, arranger and big band leader.

He was the brother of bassist Percy Heath and drummer Albert Heath.

Heath was born in Philadelphia on October 25, 1926. He originally played alto saxophone, but, after the influence of Charlie Parker on his work for Howard McGhee and Dizzy Gillespie in the late 1940s, he earned the nickname “Little Bird” (Parker’s nickname was “Bird”) and he switched to tenor saxophone.

Click here to watch on Amazon Prime


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Comment (23)

  1. Johnny mandel!!..love jimmy's meyer hard rubber mouthpiece on his old selmer markV!!…beautiful piano. One of the last of the great ones. What a world treasure!!

  2. Jimmy Heath is a musician's musician! Composer, piano player, and to top it all off, a saxophone giant! It would probably take five of me to even begin to contain and utilize even a fraction of his talent!!

  3. There are schools of well-sounding tenor saxophone players, some of whom are sound eclectic – from the pastoral to the belligerent and in between; from Lester Young to John Coltrane (et ainsi de suite)

    James Carter comes to mind; he can be as gently romantic as I [lgh] and as bellicose as the tempestuous Donald J. Trump, president of the United States of America.

    Listen to Scott Hamilton or Jushua Redman, for example; won't you?

  4. Most great saxophone players are also privately great pianists. I am talking of saxophonists because in South Africa I had an uncle, Mankunku Ngozi, well known for his composition: "Yakhal'inkomo", and he always surprised me with piano skills. Thanks

  5. something about jazz musician who were born in btw 1920-1960.
    It's like their soul where were engulfed by melodic , harmonic and lyrical gift.
    they can spill a single note and its just SWING or MELT your heart.
    Something musician in even new york scene can't be found

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