Albert ’Tootie’ Heath: Philadelphia Beat | Album Review

Philadelphia Beat
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Artist: Albert "Tootie" Heath, Ethan Iverson, Ben Street
Genre: Jazz
Label: Sunnyside

The city of brotherly love has given jazz more than its fair share of greats, not least among them the legendary Heath brothers.

The youngest, drummer “Tootie”, made his recording debut nearly six decades ago with a fellow Philadelphian by the name of John Coltrane, and, as pianist Ethan Iverson points out in his liner notes, Tootie is “one of the few left who learned bop from the streets, not the schools”.

That living connection to the classic era of jazz shines through on this enthralling trio session, with Iverson (best known as one third of the Bad Plus trio) and bassist Ben Street – on canonical tunessuch as Milt Jackson's Bag's Groove and Monk's Bye-Ya – clearly reveling in the pure, authentic groove of a be-bop master.

Cormac Larkin

Cormac Larkin

Cormac Larkin, a contributor to The Irish Times, is a musician, writer and director