[23 September 2009]
The Heath Brothers of Philadelphia are walking pillars of jazz history. Among tenor sax player Jimmy, drummer Albert (a.k.a. “Tootie”), and the late bass great Percy, they’ve recorded and been recorded by the greatest names in the game: Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Young, Chet Baker, Dexter Gordon, Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderley, Theolonius Monk, Charlie Parker, Herbie Hancock, Don Cherry, and John Coltrane, not to mention the brothers have enjoyed stints in the prestigious Modern Jazz Quartet. Endurance marks their first album since Percy’s passing in 2005, as the surviving brothers, alongside bassist David Wong and pianist Jeb Patton, move quietly through nine beautiful compositions, including newly penned Jimmy jams such as the spiritual “Ballad from Leadership Suite” and the swinging “Two Tees”, as well as a lush reading of Vernon Duke’s timeless 1934 standard “Autumn in New York”. Endurance is a miraculous comeback from two of the most enigmatic players in the biz, with a touching cover photo as well.