Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Albert “Tootie” Heath/Ethan Iverson/Ben Street: Philadelphia Beat

In their jointly written “Artist’s Choice” column on Tootie Heath for JazzTimes, pianist Ethan Iverson and bassist Ben Street spotlighted the diversity of the drummer’s sideman work, choosing a handful of recordings that illustrated Heath’s adaptability. On Philadelphia Beat, the Heath-Iverson-Street trio’s followup to 2013’s Tootie’s Tempo and 2010’s Live at Smalls, the track list is also rather disparate, reaching to such wide-ranging sources as Monk, Bach, Eubie Blake, Yusef Lateef and the disco classic “I Will Survive.”

Attempting to navigate such a crazy-quilt roadmap, in lesser hands, might court disaster, but given Iverson’s work in the Bad Plus, much of whose career has focused on unexpected re-imaginings drawn from a bottomless well, there’s nothing to fear. The album’s dozen interpretive performances-there are no original compositions-are stylistically all over the place, but the trio’s collective bond is airtight.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published