Jimmy Heath Love Letter
- Released: July 17, 2020
- Originally Released: 2020
- Label: Verve
- 1.Ballad From Upper Neighbors Suite
- 2.Left Alone - (featuring C,cile McLorin Salvant)
- 3.Inside Your Heart
- 4.Mesha, La - (featuring Wynton Marsalis)
- 5.Don't Misunderstand - (featuring Gregory Porter)
- 6.Con Alma
- 7.Fashion or Passion
- 8.Don't Explain
Personnel: Jimmy Heath (soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone); Gregory Porter , C‚cile McLorin Salvant (vocals); Russell Malone (guitar); Wynton Marsalis (trumpet); Kenny Barron (piano); Monte Croft (vibraphone); Lewis Nash (drums).
Audio Mixer: Dave Darlington.
Recording information: 800 East Studios, Atlanta, Georgia (12/04/2019); AUM studios, Bakersfield, CA (12/04/2019); Sear Sound, New York, NY (12/04/2019).
Editor: Fran Cathcart.
Photographer: Carol Friedman.
Released seven months after his death in January 2020, Love Letter finds legendary saxophonist Jimmy Heath offering a warmly rendered collection of ballads that works as a romantic capstone to his illustrious career. Known for his lyrical sound and nuanced arrangements, most notably with his siblings Percy and Tootie in the Heath Brothers, and with trumpeters like Chet Baker, Blue Mitchell, and Kenny Dorham, Heath brings all of his experience to bear on Love Letter. Joining him are pianist Kenny Barron, guitarist Russell Malone, vibraphonist Monte Croft, bassist David Wong, and drummer Lewis Nash. Together they craft a deeply heartfelt and enveloping sound that evokes Heath's classic acoustic work of the '50s and '60s. They offer sparkling and atmospheric reworkings of songs like Heath's own "Ballad From Upper Neighbors Suite," Dizzy Gillespie's "Con Alma," and Billie Holiday and Arthur Herzog, Jr.'s haunting "Don't Explain." Primarily a tenor player, Heath displays his lithe soprano skills on the yearning "Inside Your Heart." He is also joined by a handful of special guests, including vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant, who puts her distinctive stamp on the lesser-performed Billie Holiday and Mal Waldron number "Left Alone." Equally engaging is singer Gregory Porter, who offers a soulfully burnished reading of Gordon Parks' "Don't Misunderstand." Heath also engages in dusky harmonic interplay with trumpeter Wynton Marsalis on Kenny Dorham's "La Mesha." A masterfully understated and intoxicating album, Love Letter is just the kind of low-key farewell you would expect from Heath and one that holds you in its poignantly romantic swell throughout. ~ Matt Collar
100 Hits: American Songbook: 100 Timeless Tracks From The... TOP 25 Bestselling CD
$9.98 on Sale