Jimmy Heath

Biography

Jimmy Heath may be one of jazz history's most underrated soloists. He's mostly been celebrated for his sparkling compositions, such as "Gemini" and "Gingerbread Boy." But his brazen, rock-solid Hard Bop improvisations reveal him as an exuberant sound painter who favors splashes of brilliant color. Heath builds his solos from a strong base of Swing, Bop, and blues ideas and feelings. The experienced jazz listener may recognize Charlie Parker in many of Heath's solo phrases; however, his seamless articulation and rich, rounded tone make him one of the music's strongest stylists. A master arranger, Heath favors intricate group harmonies and large-ensemble formats; he usually keeps his solos relatively short, never attempting to exhaust a tune's harmonic potential, but rather using improvisation to embellish and complement the melody.
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