Brotherly Jazz: The Heath Brothers

Brotherly Jazz- The Heath Brothers” paints a vivid portrait of Philadelphia’s Heath Brothers — bassist Percy, saxophonist/composer/arranger Jimmy, and drummer Albert “Tootie” — through words and music, notably a 2004 California concert that marked one of the last times the brothers performed together. In a series of revealing interviews, the brothers tell their stories. Percy talks about his stint as a Tuskegee Airman, his bass lessons from Ray Brown, and his lengthy tenure with the Modern Jazz Quartet. Jimmy discusses the painful years he spent in prison and how he definitively turned his life around as a composer, arranger, and educator. And youngest brother “Tootie” admits that “had it not been for my older brothers, I might have gone astray and become a doctor or lawyer.”

Containing fascinating archival material about the Heaths’ family life and early professional activities as well as rarely seen footage of Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, and other bebop figures, Brotherly Jazz also features new interviews with key friends, admirers, and fellow musicians, including: Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock; Taj Mahal; Jack DeJohnette; Peter Jennings; Christian McBride. Brotherly Jazz makes abundantly clear that there’s a lot more to their lives than stellar musical accomplishments. Percy, Jimmy, and “Tootie” are beguiling characters, raconteurs par excellence, and beloved members of the jazz fraternity.