Jimmy Heath Nice People
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- Released: November 2, 1988
- Label: OJC
- 1.Nice People
- 2.Who Needs It?
- 3.Picture of Heath
- 4.Down Shift
- 5.Lowland Lullaby
- 6.Dew and Mud
- 7.Wall to Wall
- 8.All the Things You Are
- 9.Goodbye - (CD only)
- 10.Swamp Seed - (CD only)
Personnel: Jimmy Heath (tenor saxophone); Cannonball Adderley (alto saxophone); Pat Patrick (baritone saxophone); Freddy Hubbard, Donald Byrd, Clark Terry (trumpet); Nat Adderley (cornet); Julius Watkins, Jim Buffington, Dick Berg (French horn); Tom McIntosh, Curtis Fuller (trombone); Don Butterfield (tuba); Kenny Burrell (guitar); Cedar Walton, Herbie Hancock, Harold Mabern, Wynton Kelly (piano); Percy Heath, Paul Chambers (bass); Albert Heath, Connie Kay (drums).
Recorded at Plaza Sound Studios, New York, New York between June 28, 1960 and May 28, 1963 and at Reeves Sound Studios, New York, New York on November 27 and December 7, 1959. Includes liner notes by Orrin Keepnews.
Digitally remastered by Phil De Lancie (Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California).
Personnel: Jimmy Heath (tenor saxophone); Kenny Burrell (guitar); Cannonball Adderley (alto saxophone); Pat Patrick (baritone saxophone); Clark Terry, Donald Byrd, Freddie Hubbard (trumpet); Nat Adderley (cornet); Dick Berg, Julius Watkins, James Buffington (French horn); Curtis Fuller, Tom McIntosh, Don Butterfield (trombone); Harold Mabern, Herbie Hancock, Wynton Kelly, Cedar Walton (piano); Connie Kay, Albert "Tootie" Heath (drums).
Liner Note Author: Orrin Keepnews.
Recording information: Plaza Sound Studios, New York, NY (12/1959-??/1964); Reeves Sound Studio, New York, NY (12/1959-??/1964).
Unknown Contributor Roles: Clark Terry; Curtis Fuller; David Luke; Donald Byrd; Freddie Hubbard; Herbie Hancock; Joe Tarantino; Kenny Burrell; Nat Adderley; Orrin Keepnews; Paul Chambers; Percy Heath; Wynton Kelly; Cannonball Adderley; Cedar Walton.
Arrangers: Jimmy Heath; Tom McIntosh.
While far from unknown, sax player Jimmy Heath has had a low profile relative to the excellence and consistency of his writing and playing. This compilation helps correct that imbalance by spotlighting the seminal hard bopper's sessions recorded for Riverside between 1959 and 1964. The tracks cover small and medium group settings. Seven are Heath originals that highlight his direct, swinging, sophisticated, style. The arrangements are also Heath's. The pieces for septet and nonet call to mind the Dizzy Gillespie band from this era. The quintet numbers are more in a Horace Silver vein. The arrangements that include French horn and tuba tend to be more static than the rest. Trumpeters Nat Adderely, Freddie Hubbard, and Donald Byrd all have satisfying choruses, with Hubbard's being the most distinctive. Pianists Wynton Kelly, Cedar Walton, Harold Mabern and Herbie Hancock are also prominent and effective in soloist and accompanist roles. Heath's moments, though, stand out for their energy and intelligence. His attack is more purely boppish than John Coltrane's, but there are many similarities with that of his close friend, particularly with Trane's sound from his Atlantic period. Strong echoes of Dexter Gordon's balanced, authoritative, sonorous style are also evident.
As a compilation, Nice People passes the key test of generating interest in further exploration of Heath's Riverside sessions. A good starting point would be 1964's On the Trail, which is represented by only one track on Nice People -- a strong performance of "All the Things You Are," featuring luminous bop guitar from Kenny Burrell. On the Trail also includes the original version of Heath's "Gingerbread Boy," best known from the version on Miles Smiles. ~ Jim Todd
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