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Really Big! Original recording remastered
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Really Big! is part of the new jazz remaster series "Keepnews Collection". Orrin Keepnews produced for the Riverside and Milestone labels in the late '50s and the '60s, and he employed engineers who produced beautiful recordings. Any audiophile knows that Riverside's recordings are some of the best ever put to tape, and this remaster series does not disappoint. The Keepnews Collection is jazz and audiophile nirvana.
Heath is a fine player in his own right, and he doesn't hide his own tough sound on the record. But what sets "Really Big!" apart from many other recordings is the quality of the players he assembled for his small orchestra (including Clark Terry, Cannonball and Nat Adderly, Tommy Flanaganm Cedar Walton and his brothers Al and Percy) and his always tasteful and unpredictable arrangements.
Heath came of age when bebop took over, so if you think "swing" when you hear "big band" or "orchestra," discard the thought.
These are punchy arrangements that allow plenty of room for soloing, and they never lapse into mere dance music. As a great example, listen to his take on the standards "Green Dolphin Street" and "My Ideal." The former makes use of a repeated bass figure, changing rhythms from drummer Al Heath, simmering ensemble playing and cooking solos, notably from Cannonball. The latter takes things at a far easier pace, and provides plenty of space for Jimmy himself and pianist Walton. A highlight is Jimmy's sensitive solo, delivered passionately while the other horns hum along, just far enough in front to provide a chorus without intruding on his work.
Jimmy's originals all deliver something that sticks in memory, but my favorite in this session is "Old Fashioned Fun," which is just that, a bluesy romp with some unpredictable twists and turns from the orchestra, which stutter-steps through some great ensemble sections.Read more ›
Clark Terry - trumpet
Nat Adderley - cornet
Cannonball Adderely - alto saxophone
Pat Patrick - baritone saxophone
Dick Berg - french horn
Tom McIntosh - trombone
Tommy Flanagan or Cedar Walton - piano
Percy Heath - bass
Albert "Tootie" Heath - drums
I consider this recording to be an essential jazz recording. Anyone interested in big band or hearing a band playing in complete harmony, then pick up this album. Highly recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really enjoyed this CD, for an old recording, has a really nice "live" sound.Published on July 5, 2014 by ejr1953
I admit it...I never really listened to Jimmy Heath before and if you said the name, I'd plead ignorance about him and his place in our Jazz history. Read morePublished on February 25, 2014 by Rosh
Of course Jimmy Heath is one of my favorite Tenor Saxophone players, and I could listen to him all day an night. Read morePublished on October 13, 2013 by Morehouse 1960
The lead review summed up this album very well; it swings!!! As other reviewers have noted, there is an all-star cast supporting Jimmy Heath on this fine album, including both... Read morePublished on September 13, 2012 by Donald E. Gilliland
Jimmy Heath has been a favorite of mine every since I saw him in person. He puts on a great show, and this CD definitely lived up to everything I Like about him. Read morePublished on October 11, 2008 by Barb L
Really Big! is a fantastic Jimmy Heath-led session from June of 1960. Heath (tenor sax) enlisted brothers Percy (bass) and Albert "Toots" (drums), joining Cannonball Adderly (alto... Read morePublished on April 18, 2008 by Jack Baker