Heath Brothers

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Jimmy Heath, 1977
Percy Heath, 1977

The Heath Brothers is an American jazz group, formed in 1975 in Philadelphia, by the brothers Jimmy (tenor saxophone), Percy (bass), and Albert "Tootie" Heath (drums); and pianist Stanley Cowell. Tony Purrone (guitar) and Jimmy's son Mtume (percussion) joined the group later. Tootie left in 1978, and was replaced by Akira Tana for a short period before returning in 1982. They also added other sidemen for some of their recording dates.[1]

The group still exists with just two of the brothers, Jimmy and Tootie, and additional sidemen as needed. The DVD, Brotherly Jazz: The Heath Brothers, recorded in 2004, shortly before Percy Heath's death, was one of the last times the three brothers played together, and chronicled the Heath Brothers' personal lives as well as socio-political issues many jazz musicians dealt with in the later 20th century, including jail, drugs, discrimination and segregation.[2] The 2009 CD Endurance was the first without Percy, and features seven original numbers by Jimmy, including "From a Lonely Bass", composed in memory of his late brother.[3]



  • Brotherly Jazz (2006) (DanSun Productions)


  1. ^ Allmusic
  2. ^ Ken Dryden, "Brotherly Jazz" (review), All About Jazz, May 6, 2007.
  3. ^ Larry Taylor, "Heath Brothers: Endurance (2009)", All About Jazz, October 15, 2009.
  4. ^ Douglas Payne, "The Heath Brothers: As We Were Saying...", All About Jazz, September 1, 1997.
  5. ^ Jim Santella, "The Heath Brothers: Jazz Family" (review), All About Jazz, December 1, 1998.
  6. ^ The Heath Brothers, Endurance, Jazz Legacy Productions.
  7. ^ Joel Roberts, "Heath Brothers: Endurance (2009)", All About Jazz, November 11, 2009.

External links[edit]

  • Lee Fury (March 25, 2003). "A Night With the Heath Brothers: The Opening Act That Closed the Show". All About Jazz. Retrieved December 23, 2006.
  • "The Heath Brothers: Giants of Jazz". Rick Condit, March 2003. Archived from the original on 15 October 2006. Retrieved 23 December 2006. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  • JimmyHeath.com biography of Jimmy Heath
  • "Albert "Tootie" Heath", Drummerworld.
  • A complete Heath Brothers discography on musicmatch.com.
  • Jean-Michel Reisser, "The Heath Brothers" biographies and CD review of Brotherly Love, Cosmopolis, September 1, 2008, in French.
  • Brotherly Jazz: The Heath Brothers DVD Documentary
  • Patrick Jarenwattananon, "The Heath Brothers - Live at the Village Vanguard", NPR Music, July 6, 2011. (Listen, 1:11:04.)