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I Walked with Giants: The Autobiography of Jimmy Heath

by

I Walked with Giants: The Autobiography of Jimmy Heath Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Synopsis:

Composer of more than 100 jazz pieces, three-time Grammy nominee, and performer on more than 125 albums, Jimmy Heath has earned a place of honor in the history of jazz. Over his long career, Heath knew many jazz giants such as Charlie Parker and played with other innovators including John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and especially Dizzy Gillespie. Heath also won their respect and friendship.

In this extraordinary autobiography, the legendary Heath creates a “dialogue” with musicians and family members. As in jazz, where improvisation by one performer prompts another to riff on the same theme, I Walked with Giants juxtaposes Heath’s account of his life and career with recollections from jazz giants about life on the road and making music on the world’s stages. His memories of playing with his equally legendary brothers Percy and Albert (aka “Tootie”) dovetail with their recollections.

Heath reminisces about a South Philadelphia home filled with music and a close-knit family that hosted musicians performing in the city’s then thriving jazz scene. Milt Jackson recalls, “I went to their house for dinner…Jimmy’s father put Charlie Parker records on and told everybody that we had to be quiet till dinner because he had Bird on…. When I [went] to Philly, I’d always go to their house.”    Today Heath performs, composes, and works as a music educator and arranger. By turns funny, poignant, and extremely candid, Heath’s story captures the rhythms of a life in jazz.

About the Author

Jimmy Heath is widely recognized as one of the greats in jazz. A saxophonist, composer, arranger, and educator, Heath grew up in Philadelphia with his renowned brothers, Percy, the longtime bassist with the Modern Jazz Quartet, and Albert “Tootie”, a highly respected drummer. The three formed the Heath Brothers Band in the ’70s. Jimmy Heath directed the Jazz Studies master’s degree program in performance at Queens College (CUNY).

Joseph McLaren  is Professor of English at Hofstra University, the author of Langston Hughes: Folk Dramatist in the Protest Tradition, 1921-1943, and editor of several additional titles.

Table of Contents

Foreword: In the Basement, by Bill Cosby 

Acknowledgments

Introduction, by Wynton Marsalis

Part One First Chorus (1926–1949) 

1. Finding a Rhythm: Philadelphia and Wilmington, North Carolina 

2. Big Band Connections 

3. Organizing and Melodizing

Part Two Second Chorus (1949–1969) 

4. High Note–Low Note: Dizzy and Miles 

5. Sharp Dissonance to Smooth Harmony with Mona 

6. On the Riverside 

7. Maintaining the Groove

Part Three Third Chorus (1969–1986) 

8. Stretching Out: Jazz Transitions 

9. Marchin’ On: The Heath Brothers 

10. “For the Public”: The Heath Brothers

Part Four Fourth Chorus (1986–) 

11. Reharmonization: Queens College 

12. Up-Tempo Mode 

13. Aroma of the Roses 

14. Endless Stroll

Appendixes 

Appendix A: Unique Names 

Appendix B: Honors and Awards 

Appendix C: Selected Discography 

Appendix D: Compositions 

Appendix E: Chronology 

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9781439901984
Author:
Heath, Jimmy
Publisher:
Temple University Press
Foreword by:
Cosby, Bill
Foreword:
Cosby, Bill
Author:
McLaren, Joseph
Subject:
Entertainment & Performing Arts - General
Subject:
Genres & Styles - Jazz
Subject:
Jazz musicians -- United States.
Subject:
Heath, Jimmy
Subject:
Composers & Musicians - Jazz
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Entertainment & Performing Arts
Subject:
Biography-Composers and Musicians
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20100131
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
344
Dimensions:
9.00 x 6.00 in

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Jazz
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Jazz » Biographies
Biography » Composers and Musicians
Biography » Entertainment and Performing Arts
Biography » General

I Walked with Giants: The Autobiography of Jimmy Heath New Hardcover
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Product details 344 pages Temple University Press - English 9781439901984 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
Composer of more than 100 jazz pieces, three-time Grammy nominee, and performer on more than 125 albums, Jimmy Heath has earned a place of honor in the history of jazz. Over his long career, Heath knew many jazz giants such as Charlie Parker and played with other innovators including John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and especially Dizzy Gillespie. Heath also won their respect and friendship.

In this extraordinary autobiography, the legendary Heath creates a “dialogue” with musicians and family members. As in jazz, where improvisation by one performer prompts another to riff on the same theme, I Walked with Giants juxtaposes Heath’s account of his life and career with recollections from jazz giants about life on the road and making music on the world’s stages. His memories of playing with his equally legendary brothers Percy and Albert (aka “Tootie”) dovetail with their recollections.

Heath reminisces about a South Philadelphia home filled with music and a close-knit family that hosted musicians performing in the city’s then thriving jazz scene. Milt Jackson recalls, “I went to their house for dinner…Jimmy’s father put Charlie Parker records on and told everybody that we had to be quiet till dinner because he had Bird on…. When I [went] to Philly, I’d always go to their house.”    Today Heath performs, composes, and works as a music educator and arranger. By turns funny, poignant, and extremely candid, Heath’s story captures the rhythms of a life in jazz.

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