Albert Heath

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Albert "Tootie" Heath
Albert "Tootie" Heath in 2014
Background information
Birth nameAlbert Heath
Born (1935-05-31) May 31, 1935 (age 88)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Years active1957–present

Albert "Tootie" Heath (born May 31, 1935)[1] is an American jazz hard bop drummer, the brother of tenor saxophonist Jimmy Heath and the double-bassist Percy Heath.[2]

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States,[1] he first recorded in 1957 with John Coltrane.[3] From 1958 to 1974, he worked with, among others, J. J. Johnson, Wes Montgomery, Art Farmer and Benny Golson's Jazztet, Cedar Walton, Bobby Timmons, Kenny Drew, Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon, Johnny Griffin, Herbie Hancock, Friedrich Gulda, Nina Simone, and Yusef Lateef.[1] In 1975, he, Jimmy and Percy formed the Heath Brothers.[1] He remained with the group until 1978, then left to freelance.[1] He has recorded extensively throughout his career.

Among his many workshop and classroom teaching assignments, Heath is a regular instructor at the Stanford Jazz Workshop.

Tootie Heath is now the producer and leader of The Whole Drum Truth, a jazz drum ensemble featuring Ben Riley, Ed Thigpen, Jackie Williams, Billy Hart, Charlie Persip, Leroy Williams and Louis Hayes.


As leader[edit]

As sideman[edit]

With Kenny Barron

With Walter Benton

With Anthony Braxton

With George Cables

With the Kenny Clarke/Francy Boland Big Band

With John Coltrane

With Ted Curson

With Kenny Dorham

With Kenny Drew

With Art Farmer

With Benny Golson

With Dexter Gordon

With Bennie Green and Gene Ammons

With Johnny Griffin

With Herbie Hancock

With Jimmy Heath

With Milt Jackson

With J. J. Johnson

With Clifford Jordan

With Yusef Lateef

With Johnny Lytle

With Roberto Magris

With Guido Manusardi

  • Trio de Jazz (Electrecord – EDE 0476, 1968)

With Warne Marsh

With Ronnie Mathews

With Charles McPherson

With Blue Mitchell

With Roscoe Mitchell

With Wes Montgomery

With Tete Montoliu

With Don Patterson

With Cecil Payne

  • Zodiac (Strata-East, 1968 [1973])

With Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen

With Sonny Red

With George Russell

With Michel Sardaby

  • Night Blossom (DIW, 1990)

With Bud Shank

With Nina Simone

With Les Spann

With Billy Taylor

With Bobby Timmons

With Mal Waldron

With Cedar Walton

With The Young Lions

Awards and nominations[edit]

In October 2020, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced Heath as one of four recipients of the NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships, celebrated in an online concert and show on 22 April 2021. Awarded in recognition of lifetime achievement, the honor is bestowed on individuals who have made significant contributions to the art form. The other 2021 recipients were Terri Lyne Carrington, Phil Schaap, and Henry Threadgill.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Who's Who of Jazz (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 195/6. ISBN 0-85112-580-8.
  2. ^ "Albert "Tootie" Heath | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved July 28, 2021.
  3. ^ "Albert Heath". Drummer Cafe. Archived from the original on March 3, 2023. Retrieved April 6, 2021.
  4. ^ Beete, Paulette. "Congratulations to the 2021 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters". National Endowment for the Arts. Archived from the original on 30 November 2020. Retrieved 29 April 2021.

External links[edit]