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Fungii Mama

Jimmy Heath Quartet


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Happy Birthday Jimmy Heath


This performance was filmed in October 2009 at the annual Giants of Jazz Concert in South Orange, N.J., an event honoring the great artists of Jazz,

The Quartet's members are as follows: Jimmy Heath, tenor saxophone; Mulgrew Miller, piano; David Wong, string bass; and 'Tootie Albert' Heath, drums.

James Edward Heath (born October 25, 1926) started out on the alto sax but was influenced by Charlie Parker when the pair worked together with both Howard McGhee and Dizzy Gillespie during the late 1940's. It was then that he switched to the tenor saxophone and earning himself the nickname "Little Bird," He is the brother of bassist Percy Heath and drummer Albert Heath.

He briefly joined Miles Davis's group in 1959, replacing John Coltrane, and also worked with Kenny Dorham and Gil Evans. He recorded extensively as leader and sideman. During the 1960s, he frequently worked with Milt Jackson and Art Farmer.

In the 1980's, Heath set his sights on teaching and joined the faculty of the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College in the City University of New York. With the rank of Professor, he led the creation of the Jazz Program at Queens College and attracted prominent musicians such as Donald Byrd to the campus. He also served on the Board of the Louis Armstrong Archives on campus, and the restoration and management of the Louis and Lucille Armstrong Residence in Corona, Queens, near his own home. In addition to teaching at Queens College for over twenty years, he has also taught at Jazzmobile Heath was a recipient of the 2003 NEA Jazz Masters Award. In 2004, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Human Letters.

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