I Walked with Giants: The Autobiography of Jimmy Heath

Jimmy Heath, Author, Joseph McLaren, Author, Bill Cosby, Foreword by
Jimmy Heath, Author, Joseph McLaren, Author, Bill Cosby, Foreword by . Temple Univ. $35 (322p) ISBN 978-1-4399-0198-4
Reviewed on: 11/16/2009
Release date: 01/01/2010
Open Ebook - 343 pages - 978-1-4399-0200-4
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Over a long career, from the big-band era to today's contemporary sound, Philadelphia-born jazz saxophonist Heath puts all of the peaks and valleys of a rigorous professional life in a unique memoir that speaks volumes to the values of discipline, tradition, and perseverance. Aided by a foreword by jazz fan Bill Cosby and an introduction by top brass man Wynton Marsalis, Heath's story is told in a classic call-and-response manner, with his family members and fellow musicians such as Benny Golson, Clark Terry, Barry Harris, and Art Farmer chiming in about the quality of the man and the performer who rose through the musical ranks to become a peerless arranger-composer of big bands and small groups. His struggles with drugs, shady club owners, Jim Crow, and his work and influence with Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Dexter Gordon are discussed candidly, along with his popular work with his famed brothers, Percy and Tootie in the 1970s. A true jazz milestone, this bold account by Heath and Hofstra English professor McLaren further illuminates the seldom-told story of our creative homegrown music. (Jan.)

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