117

The Heath Brothers: As We Were Saying...

Douglas Payne By

Sign in to view read count
This friendly, swinging session is Jimmy, Percy and and Albert "Tootie" Heath’s first together since 1983’s Brothers and Others on Antilles. On their own, these guys have logged memorable time with the greatest names in jazz – from Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis and Charlie Parker to Thelonious Monk, Milt Jackson and, in Percy’s case, The Modern Jazz Quartet. Each is a highly sought-after player (or writer, in Jimmy’s case) who’ve survived more than four decades of the jazz life – and still have plenty of energy left to swing.

Since their music together is ageless, As We Were Saying... seems to pick up effortlessly right where they left off in 1983. Guests include pianists Sir Roland Hanna and Stanley Cowell (Cowell chaired the piano on all previous Heath Brothers recordings), Mark Elf, who’s not as interesting on guitar as Tony Purrone and Slide Hampton (trombone) and Jon Faddis (trumpet) on three tracks.

As expected, not a single track is a dud. Standouts include the Basie blues of Percy’s "Dave’s Haze," the funky groove of the brothers' "South Filthy" and Albert’s outstanding "For Seven’s Sake" (which catches Cowell on kalimba and reminds one of the drummer’s fascinating, little-known 1969 album Kawaida ). The playing is always one step above expectation and is best on the three nicely chosen covers: Jimmy Dorsey’s "I’m Glad There Is You," Fats Navarro’s "Nostalgia" (featuring Percy’s lovely bass) and Ellington / Strayhorn’s "Daydream" (featuring Jimmy’s soprano).

Skip Stanley Crouch’s windy liner notes. As We Were Saying... is certainly worth hearing. It shames many of the young lions whose rebop and modal xeroxing have earned millions. The Heath Brothers, who were there at the beginning, are still far more interesting and have much more to say.


Shop

More Articles

Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "We Two" CD/LP/Track Review We Two
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 28, 2016
Read "Illustrations" CD/LP/Track Review Illustrations
by Dave Wayne
Published: September 7, 2016
Read "I Have Known Mountains" CD/LP/Track Review I Have Known Mountains
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 25, 2016
Read "Fake It Until You Make It" CD/LP/Track Review Fake It Until You Make It
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 17, 2016
Read "Alive Out There" CD/LP/Track Review Alive Out There
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 2, 2016
Read "Tiresia" CD/LP/Track Review Tiresia
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 11, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!