Bop tenor giant Jimmy Heath-a “giant” more in tone and ability than physical stature-will celebrate his 80th birthday at the Blue Note from Oct. 11 to 15, joined by longtime friends Bill Cosby, Clark Terry and James Moody.
The Philadelphia-born saxophonist was second of three musical brothers (bassist Percy and drummer Albert). He embarked on a professional career in the mid-’40s, leading his own big band that included John Coltrane and Benny Golson before touring with Dizzy Gillespie at the end of the decade. Since then, he formed the Heath Brothers (whose demise came in 2005 after Percy died) and has recorded over 100 albums under his own name. Heath, a longtime educator, has been honored with numerous awards for his contributions.