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Jimmy Heath

The middle of the three Heath Brothers, Jimmy Heath has a distinctive sound on tenor, is a fluid player on soprano and flute, and a very talented arranger/composer whose originals include C.T.A. and Gingerbread Boy. He was originally an alto saxophonist, playing with Howard McGhee during 1947-1948 and the Dizzy Gillespie big band (1949-1950). Called "Little Bird" because of the similarity in his playing to Charlie Parker, Heath switched to tenor in the early 1950s. Heath wrote for Chet Baker and Art Blakey during 1956-1957 and he worked with Miles Davis, Kenny Dorham and Gil Evans, and started a string of impressive recordings for Riverside Records. In the 1960s, Heath frequently teamed up with Milt Jackson and Art Farmer, and he also worked as an educator and a freelance arranger. During 1975-1982, Jimmy Heath teamed up with brothers Percy and Tootie in the Heath Brothers, and since then has remained active as a saxophonist and writer. In addition to his earlier Riverside dates, Jimmy Heath has recorded as a leader for Cobblestone, Muse, Xanadu, Landmark, and Verve. He is also well known for his excellent communication skills with music students at clinics and workshops that he has done around the world.