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The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - REVIEWS CDs - Ray Comiskey Tony Clay­ton-Lea

re- JIMMY HEATH Turn Up the Heath Planet Arts ★★★★★ Sax­o­phon­ist Jimmy Heath tends to be a bit over­looked as a big band writer, but as a com­poser and or­ches­tra­tor in the swing­ing tra­di­tion he’s one of the best. Here, with a big band of some of New York’s finest, he shows why. Apart from one stan­dard (I’m Glad There Is You), all the ma­te­rial is his. Con­sis­tently con­jur­ing up fresh lines and vari­a­tions on the ba­sic ma­te­rial, Heath packs his ar­range­ments with in­ci­dent, deft voic­ings and ex­hil­a­rat­ing coun­ter­point. He has a story to tell and he tells it well, as his ef­fec­tive and dis­tinc­tive approach to some­thing as ba­sic as the blues form with Big P, Gemini and Project S shows. And the propul­sive mo­men­tum of each chart is com­pelling.

A su­perb rhythm sec­tion, un­der­pinned by Peter Wash­ing­ton (bass) and Lewis Nash (drums) also helps, but the un­clut­tered writ­ing favours the re­laxed drive of a band that places feel­ing over clin­i­cal pre­ci­sion, and they re­spond ac­cord­ingly. Strik­ing soloists in­clude Heath him­self, Gary Smulyan (bari­tone), Greg Gis­bert, Sean Jones, Ter­rell Stafford and Michael Philip Moss­man (trum­pets), and trom­bon­ists Slide Hamp­ton and John Mosca. No bound­aries breached, but swing­ing crafts­man­ship of a very high level. www.Plan­etArts.org ard Bran­son built his Vir­gin em­pire on. www.cher­ryred.co.uk

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