In the Mix - Movie
Along with the Teagardens (Jack, Norma, Charlie and “Cub”), the Dorseys (Jimmy and Tommy), the Joneses (Hank, Thad and Elvin) and the Marsalises (Branford, Wynton and Delfeayo), the Heath brothers (Percy, “Tootie” and Jimmy) are among jazz’s best-known group of siblings, and this fascinating 70-minute DVD explores their backgrounds and presents them in concert. Bassist Percy is undoubtedly the most famous Heath thanks to his recordings with Bird, Dizzy, Monk and others, as well as his 20-plus years with the Modern Jazz Quartet. When it broke up in 1975, he began working with his brothers, Jimmy (tenor sax) and “Tootie” (drums), and made eight records. This DVD has vintage shots of their bebop influences and then goes back and forth from the 2004 concert to interviews with such luminaries as Marian McPartland, Sonny Rollins and Herbie Hancock. Their own insights into music are especially informative, as when Percy tells how he learned “not to bury the instrument.” My favorite moment is Percy’s solo version of “Yardbird Suite,” which he plays pizzicato on cello: he is grinning from ear to ear and obviously enjoying it as much as the audience.