Jimmy Heath on music and personality

Now, a Jazz Moment...

MUSIC: "In a Sentimental Mood" CD: Duke Ellington & John Coltrane, Impulse IMPD-166 (cut 1)

According to NEA Jazz Master Jimmy Heath, a jazz musician's personality is usually revealed through his or her playing.

Jimmy Heath: You know, if you're an aggressive person, it comes out in your
music. If you're a romantic, if that's your nature, you have that kind of a
passionate kind of a sound. Any emotion can be translated through the music.
But you know, I always refer to my buddy, Trane, when we were coming up around
Philly.

Fellow saxophonist John Coltrane was one of Jimmy Heath's close friends.

Jimmy Heath: He ended up with a sound in the high register of his horn that was not violent. He could play ballads in the top register of his horn with such... I call it "a cry, but not a beg." (:15)

MUSIC: same - up and fades under

Jimmy Heath: He's crying with an ethereal kind of heavenly sound. (:05)

The power of personality in jazz... that's the soft cry of John Coltrane,
as described by saxophonist Jimmy Heath. This Jazz Moment was produced by
the National Endowment for the Arts.

Jimmy Heath on music and personality