TVD Radar: Jimmy Heath, Love Letter in stores now

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Today Verve Records releases Love Letter, the first all-ballads album from magisterial tenor saxophonist-composer Jimmy Heath. In addition to his original material, this elegant collection offers the jazz ambassador’s beautiful take on ballad classics, and includes songs written by Billie Holiday, Mal Waldron, Dizzy Gillespie, Kenny Dorham, and Gordon Parks. The album also features 21st century vocal superstars Gregory Porter and Cécile McLorin Salvant, and trumpet icon Wynton Marsalis.

For Love Letter, Jimmy presided over a brilliant cast of colleagues and friends. Joining Maestro Heath is a multi-generational all-star unit, including NEA Jazz Master pianist Kenny Barron, esteemed guitarist Russell Malone, soulful vibraphone veteran Monte Croft, New York first-call bassist David Wong, and all-world drummer Lewis Nash. Love Letter features all new arrangements by Heath on Gillespie’s “Con Alma,” Dorham’s “La Mesha” (featuring Marsalis), Gordon Parks’ “Don’t Misunderstand,” and “Left Alone” the Billie Holiday Mal Waldron collaboration, as well as three originals chosen from his vast body of work. Heath’s soulful, trenchant, urbane solo flights evoke his poetic spirit with old master concision and the authoritative chops of a musician half his age.

A listener unfamiliar with the backstory of Love Letter would not imagine that the orchestrator and primary instrumental voice on this recording is a jockey-framed, spirited, 93-year-old man, who with the full breadth of his intellectual powers, delivers his final, magnificent salvo.

During his career, Heath performed on more than 100 albums and wrote more than 125 compositions, many of which have become jazz standards and have been recorded by artists that include Cannonball Adderley, Chet Baker, Miles Davis, James Moody, Milt Jackson, Ahmad Jamal, Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie, J. J. Johnson, and Dexter Gordon.

Love Letter Tracklisting:
Ballad from Upper Neighbors Suite
Left Alone (with Cécile McLorin Salvant)
Inside Your Heart
La Mesha (with Wynton Marsalis)
Don’t Misunderstand (with Gregory Porter)
Con Alma
Fashion Or Passion
Don’t Explain

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