The Heath Brothers: The Rio Dawn
The Rio Dawn
The Heath Brothers
Endurance (Jazz Legacy Productions 0901004)
Jeb Patton (piano), David Wong (bass).
Composed by Jimmy Heath.
Recorded: South Orange, NJ, October 5-6, 2008
Rating: 88/100 (learn more)
The title of this CD (Endurance) pretty much sums up the state of jazz these days, especially for elder statesmen such as the Heath Brothers, who once recorded for the largest label in the land, but now have gone indie like everyone else. The band's ranks are diminished with the passing of brother Percy, who died from bone cancer in 2005, two days before his 82nd birthday. But Al "Tootie" Heath is now, as always, a fine swinging drummer, and Jimmy a very much under-rated composer and saxophonist. "The Rio Dawn" is a light bossa in B flat with rich changes. Pianist Jeb Patton has been with the band for more than a decade, and adjusts his temperament perfectly to the musical proceedings. Compared with many jazz ensembles on the scene, this one seems less about ego and more about coming together for just the sheer joy of validating and celebrating the music. Some sweet endurance indeed.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia