Jimmy Heath on the beauty of ballads
Now, a Jazz Moment...
MUSIC: "The Voice of the Saxophone" CD: Little Man Big Band, Verve 314 513 956-2 (cut 3)
NEA Jazz Master Jimmy Heath has deep respect for those who can effectively
play a ballad. It's a true art -- beautifully exemplified by two of Heath's
idols, saxophonists Johnny Hodges and Ben Webster...
Jimmy Heath: I'm like Ben Webster in the fact that I would like to know the
lyric of a song and try to interpret the lyric. If you're saying you're playing, "Lover
Man." If you know the words, you say, "I don't know why, but I'm feeling so
sad." That makes you bend that note so sad. You get these inflections in your
playing that are sympathetic to the language. And that's why those-- Johnny
Hodges and Ben Webster are the greatest ballad players.
MUSIC: same - up and fades under
...the art of the ballad with tenor saxophonist Jimmy Heath. This Jazz Moment was produced by the National Endowment for the Arts.