Artist Catalog

The Heath Brothers

The Heath Brothers is an American jazz group, formed in 1975 in Philadelphia, by the brothers Jimmy (tenor saxophone), Percy (bass), and Albert "Tootie" Heath (drums); and pianist Stanley Cowell. Tony Purrone (guitar) and Jimmy's son Mtume (percussion) joined the group later. Tootie left in 1978, and was replaced by Akira Tana for a short period before returning in 1982. They also added other sidemen for some of their recording dates.

The group still exists with just two of the brothers, Jimmy and Tootie, and additional sidemen as needed. The DVD, Brotherly Jazz: The Heath Brothers, recorded in 2004, shortly before Percy Heath's death, was one of the last times the three brothers played together, and chronicled the Heath Brothers' personal lives as well as socio-political issues many jazz musicians dealt with in the later 20th century, including jail, drugs, discrimination and segregation. The 2009 CD Endurance was the first without Percy, and features seven original numbers by Jimmy, including "From a Lonely Bass", composed in memory of his late brother.