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A Listener’s Guide to the Work of “Tootie” Heath

Ethan Iverson & Ben Street choose 10 swinging albums

NINA SIMONE
Little Girl Blue (Bethlehem, 1958)

Tootie Heath took the influence of Kenny Clarke and spread it to other kinds of black music besides straight-ahead jazz. His brushwork here shows remarkable depth for a 22-year-old, and his naturally undulating pulse helped some of these tracks become Simone’s biggest hits.

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