Interview: Jimmy Heath (Part 2) - JazzWax

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October 20, 2009


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Bill Forbes

Interesting to hear how Jimmy, an East Coast musician, managed to get his compositions out of prison and how they were first recorded on the West Coast by a Chet Baker group. There was clearly a link between the two, as Chet also recorded three Jimmy Heath arrangements in that year (1956) with an eleven-piece group on "Chet Baker Big Band". I first heard Jimmy's "For Minors Only" and "For Miles and Miles" in about 1959 played on a 1957 album, "Hard Drive" by the Art Blakey Jazz Messengers that included Johnny Griffin, Bill Hardman and Junior Mance. I think it was then that these compositions found their true hard bop home!

John Okbo

What a wonderful story. I'm 64,a danish jazzdrummer, sitting in Denmark reading this about Jimmy.My greatest admiration for the man and the whole Heath family.And thanks to Jazzwax for posting the interview. More please-more.

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  • Marc Myers writes on music and the arts for The Wall Street Journal. He is author of "Why Jazz Happened" (Univ. of Calif. Press). Founded in 2007, JazzWax was named the 2015 "Blog of the Year" by the Jazz Journalists Association.
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