BiographyJimmy 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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