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Jimmy Heath

Jimmy Heath has long been recognized as a brilliant instrumentalist, composer, arranger, conductor and recording artist; and although his first instrument was the alto sax, he established his reputation on the tenor sax, soprano sax and flute, becoming the most articulate and skillful reed players in jazz. While playing alto Sax, he acquired the nick name “Little Bird” due to the influence Charlie “Yardbird” Parker had on his style.

He was born in Philadelphia in 1926. When Jimmy was 20, he led his own big band, whose sidemen included Benny Golson, John Coltrane and Ray Bryant. Gigs followed with Howard McGhee in 1948, and with Dizzy Gillespie’s big band from 1949-50. He later recorded and performed with his own group, as well as with Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Donald Byrd, Clark Terry and Milt Jackson, Art Farmer, Wynton Marsalis and other jazz greats. Since 1975, Jimmy has been teaming up with brothers Percy and Albert “Tootie” as the Heath Brothers.

During his career, Jimmy has performed on more than 100 record albums including seven with the Heath Brothers and twelve as a leader. Jimmy has also written more than 100 original works, many have become jazz standards and recorded by jazz notables too numerous to mention. By combining his versatile style of performing and his outstanding writing and arranging abilities, he has set high standards of accomplishments in the jazz field. Jimmy started to compose extended works – seven suites and two quartets - receiving a grant from the Creative Arts Programs, composing the “Afro-American Suite of Evolution.” The premiere performance of this major work was performed by Jazzmobile at New York Town Hall in 1976, and later performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival. And he premiered his first symphonic work, “Three Ears,” in 1988 at Queens College (CUNY) with Maurice Peress Conducting.

After having just concluded eleven years as a Professor of Music at the Aaron Copland Scholl of Music at Queens College, Heath maintains an extensive performance schedule and continues to conduct workshops and clinics throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. He has also taught jazz studies at Jazzmobile, Housatonic Community College, City College of New York and The New School of Social Reseach. He holds honorary degrees from Sojourner-Douglas College and Juilliard School of Music, and has a chair endowed in his name at Queens College. Heath is currently serving on the Board of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz; and recently received the prestigious NEA Jazz Master Jazz Fellowship.


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Title Category Score Parts Time Listen
"D" Waltz - ** - **
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13th House, The - ** - **
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Afro-American Suite of Evolution Symphony Orchestra with Jazz Soloist(s) R R 60:00 -
Artherdoc Blues - ** - ** -
Big "P" - ** - **
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Blue On Blue - ** - **
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Bring It On Home (To Me) - ** - ** -
Bro' Slim - ** - ** -
Changes - ** - ** -
Chordnation - ** - **
MP3
Cloak and Dagger - ** - **
MP3
Collection of 31 Compositions Instrumental Folio 14.95 --- -
Collection of Compositions - Vol. 2 Instrumental Folio 14.95 - -
Dew and Mud - ** - **
MP3
Downshift - ** - **
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Far Away Lands - ** - ** -
Faulu - ** - ** -
Feelin' Dealin' - ** - ** -
For Minors Only - ** - **
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For The Public - ** - ** -
Funny Time - ** - **
MP3
Gap Sealer - ** - ** -
Gemini - ** - **
MP3
Gingerbread Boy - ** - ** -
Heads Up! Feet Down! - ** - ** -
Heritage Hum - ** - ** -
Homes - ** - ** -
Ineffable - ** - ** -
Life In The City - ** - ** -
Losing Game, A - ** - ** -
Lowland Lullaby - ** - **
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Mellowdrama - ** - ** -
Metal Melter, The - ** - ** -
Mona's Mood - ** - **
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Mongo's Groove - ** - ** -
Nails - ** - **
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New Blue, A - ** - ** -
Nice People - ** - **
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Old Fashion Fun - ** - **
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One For Juan - ** - ** -
Project -- S - ** - **
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Prospecting - ** - **
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Quota, The - ** - **
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Re-Rev - ** - ** -
Six Steps - ** - **
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Smilin' Billy - ** - ** -
Sound For Sore Ears, A - ** - ** -
Studio Style - ** - ** -
Tender Touch - ** - ** -
Then What - ** - ** -
Thing To Do, The - ** - ** -
Thumper, The - ** - **
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Time And A Place, A, (There's) - ** - **
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Togetherness - ** - ** -
Top Shelf - ** - ** -
Two Tees - ** - **
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Use It (Don't Abuse It) - ** - **
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Voice of the Saxophone, The - ** - **
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Wall To Wall - ** - **
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Waverly Street - ** - ** -

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