Remastered in 24-bit from the original master tapes. Part of our Keepnews Collection, which spotlights classic albums originally produced by the legendary Orrin Keepnews. Jimmy Heath has been at the forefront of modern jazz for almost 50 years. The middle brother of the illustrious Heaths, Jimmy (b. 1926) is a triple threat as saxophonist-composer-arranger. On this, his second Riverside date as a leader, Jimmy's ten-piece band was not, of course, really big—but his expert writing and arranging made the flexible ensemble sound bigger.
Though Jimmy Raney recorded under his own name as early as 1953, this 1956 set is regarded as his arrival as a leader. Raney is as fine an arranger as he is a guitarist. These eight tracks with Bob Brookmeyer on trombone (another fine arranger in a soloist's role) shine with the ease and fluidity of the best of the cool sessions recorded at the dawn of hard bop. One of the finest examples of the interplay between Raney and Brookmeyer occurs at the beginning of the album's second track, "How Long Has This Been Going On?," where the pair engage in a brief contrapuntal dialogue before Brookmeyer solos on the melody and Raney gently fills the space behind him by whispering his chords and fills through the trombonist's phrasing, before taking his own solo and slipping an inverted harmonic pattern on the tune's lyric line. ..