This 1960 album's even bigger with the addition of a bonus track (an alternate take of Nails )! Saxman Heath leads a 10-piece orchestra with Clark Terry and the Adderley brothers among the players.
While Producer Orrin Keepnews' Riverside label is best known for a few dominant artists like Thelonious Monk and Bill Evans, it was one of the most adventurous of the great New York independent labels of the 1950s and 1960s, often breaking with the small combo format. Tenor saxophonist Jimmy Heath's tentet from 1960 is a superb example, a band combining big band drive with small group spontaneity. Armed with Heath's well-crafted, imaginative compositions, as well as Bobby Timmons' soul jazz anthem "Dat Dere" and the standard "On Green Dolphin Street," the band swings tremendously. There's a special family chemistry as well, with Heath joined by his brothers Percy on bass and Albert on drums, and altoist Cannonball Adderley and brother Nat sharing the solo space. The inspiration shows in Jimmy Heath's own playing, whether he's working through the complex harmonies of "Mona's Mood" or ricocheting off the rhythms of "Nails." --Stuart Broomer