Heath Brothers (The) - Endurance (Music CD)

Release Date: 10 May 2010
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Brothers Jimmy Heath and Albert "Tootie" Heath carry on together in the tradition of the Heath Brothers band, minus their deceased brother, bassist Percy Heath. David Wong ably fills the bass chair, while pianist Jeb Patton has been working with the Philadelphia-based siblings for going on his dozenth year. There's a certain ease and calm present in Jimmy Heath's tenor sax playing that reflects the wisdom of his seasoned years, an assured stance that is never rushed or over-pronounced. This tone sets up the type of uncomplicated mainstream modern jazz based in bop that most fans can embrace and enjoy. It is refreshing that Jimmy Heath can still crank out new compositions that retain both traditional values and a universal appeal. And -- if it actually needs to be said -- Albert Heath is one of the greatest jazz drummers of all time, and continues on his tasteful, skillful, perfectly balanced path, a common example for students and fellow pros to follow. A perfect example of their combined expertise kicks off the set with "Changes," an effortless, light, breezy, and melodic a type of straight-ahead jazz as you will ever find. "Wall to Wall" reflects the good-time, free-flowing, shuffle blues typified by the best of Art Blakey's material. Where "You or Me" is masterful bop based on a deconstructed and extended idea of the changes of "There Will Never Be Another You" with Wong's bass at the core, "Two Tees" takes tenor and piano intertwined into a crisp and precise bop tone, and "The Rio Dawn" is the obligatory Brazilian piece, light, airy, and alluring. Wong's other feature with his bowed, upright, acoustic instrument, "From a Lonely Bass" is the ensemble's tribute to Percy Heath similar to Duke Ellington's immortal "Solitude." There's a single contribution from Patton's pen, as "Dusk in the City" is a dynamic, modal piece, very modern, with Jimmy Heath's dusky soprano sax on display, and Patton's chord progressions or two-handed accents loading up the track. A more-upbeat-than-normal version of "Autumn in New York" expresses the hopeful instead of melancholy side of this seasonal change, still easygoing and serene but confident that better times are ahead, and that it is good to be alive. Of the handful of Heath Brothers recordings in the world, this one is very good despite the absence of the third sibling. Patton and Wong work quite well with the surviving brothers, making this an attractive album -- with not a speck of filler or cereal -- that most jazz listeners will want in their collections. ~ Michael G. Nastos
Release Date: 10 May 2010

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Catalogue No: JLP0901004