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Percy Heath: Modern Jazz Debut

In a career as distinguished and lengthy as that of bassist/cellist Percy Heath, it’s hard to find any new firsts. But the release of his new disc A Love Song (Daddy Jazz) is a milestone. Amazingly, Percy Heath had never issued a record as a leader until this seven-cut disc, which features several of his own compositions. In addition, Heath personally selected the players, among them pianist Jeb Patton, second bassist Peter Washington and brother Tootie Heath on drums and percussion.

“It was not some big deal to me because I never really thought about it,” Heath says. “Most of the records that I’ve ever made were always like partnerships to me, not a question about who would be the leader. With the Modern Jazz Quartet, we were a band. There was nobody’s name up there. It’s always been the same with the Heath Brothers. But when [producers] Andy Collins and Bill Siegel came to me and gave me a chance to record my own compositions, we went ahead and did it. I guess this another of those times when every tub stands on its own bottom,” Heath laughs.

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