Percy Heath: A Love Song (2004)

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This 80 year old bassist from one of the great jazz families, the Heaths, has finally recorded his first session as a leader, and it is a touchingly atmospheric affair. Only one really catchy melody graces the album, "Django," from Percy Heath's Modern Jazz Quartet days of a half century ago, but this album is less about tunes with hooks than about establishing a graceful air, tunes blending into one long session of delicate jazz impressionism.

Aided handsomely by pianist Jeb Patton and brother Albert "Tootie" Heath on drums, Heath adds a second bassist, Peter Washington, for his "Suite for Pop." The title track showcases Percy Heath in a pensive mood, as if searching for the thread of a song to encompass the sense of loss connected to a lost love. The leader's sure feel for the blues is underscored in a number of originals in that style. This is an album requiring deep concentration, and rewards such, in an introverted style recalling the Modern Jazz Quartet at its most meditative.

Track Listing: 1. A Love Song, 2. Watergate Blues, 3. Django, 4. Century Rag, 5. No More Weary Blues, 6. No More Weary Blues, 7. Hannah's Mood

Personnel: Percy Heath, Jeb Patton, Peter Washington, Albert "Tootie" Heath

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream

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