Homecoming For The Heath Brothers

Posted: February 11, 1994

When the Heath Brothers made their last public appearance in town a year ago, it was for their induction into the Philadelphia Music Alliance's Walk of Fame. When they return to their home town Saturday - for a concert at the University Museum - they can again demonstrate why they have taken on such elite status in the world of jazz.

The quartet consists of saxophonist Jimmy Heath, bassist Percy Heath, drummer Albert Heath and guitarist Tony Purrone.

Of this group, Jimmy and Percy probably are the best known among the jazz masses. During the last 40 years, Jimmy has played with most of the greats, including Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane, Miles Davis and, in more recent times, Wynton Marsalis. Percy is highly regarded for his association with the Modern Jazz Quartet.

But for lovers of jazz, it's always special when the Heath Brothers assemble to make music as a family.

The Heath Brothers at the Harrison Auditorium in the University Museum, 33d and Spruce Streets, at 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $10. Phone: 215-898-6791.

HADEN IN FROM THE WEST. The same night, Charlie Haden's Quartet West, which doesn't perform in this area very often, will appear at the University of Delaware's Mitchell Hall in Newark. Haden's resume as a jazz bassist goes back to when he played with the likes of Art Pepper, Dexter Gordon and Paul Bley before joining Ornette Coleman's quintet in the late 1950s. He later performed with such musicians as John Coltrane, Archie Shepp, Pee Wee Russell and Keith Jarrett.

In 1969, Haden and Carla Bley recruited 11 musicians - including Gato Barbieri and Don Cherry - to form the Liberation Music Orchestra. This group

went on to record a number of albums that won high praise in this country and abroad.

Haden finally made his debut as a small group leader in 1987, when he formed his Quartet West.

While the quartet performs everything from Pat Metheny to Ornette Coleman to Charlie Parker - not to mention a number of Haden originals - one of the Haden trademarks is music that evokes images of Hollywood in the '40s - numbers that are alternately brooding and swingy.

Charlie Haden's Quartet West at the University of Delaware's Mitchell Hall, S College Ave, Newark, at 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $15; $10 for senior citizens. Phone: 302-831-2204.

FREE SHOWS AT LIBRARY. As part of Black History Month, the Central Library of the Free Library of Philadelphia is offering the opportunity to catch a couple of local jazz legends in a relatively intimate setting. Admission is free, but keep in mind that the limited seating is on a first-come, first- served basis in the Montgomery Auditorium.

The series will start Sunday afternoon when keyboardist Shirley Scott appears. She will be supported by drummer Mickey Roker, something of a legend

himself, and Arthur Harper on bass.

Two weeks later, Feb. 27, saxophonist Robert "Bootsie" Barnes will entertain with Samuel Dockery on piano, Byron Landham on drums and Lee Smith on bass.

Shirley Scott in Montgomery Auditorium at the Free Library, 19th and Vine Streets, at 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. Phone: 215-686-5322.

Other events for Black History Month - designated with a B - are listed below.

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