Category: Heath, Tootie

2009 DTM interview with Albert “Tootie” Heath

DoTheMath is pianist Ethan Iverson’s great blog about mostly jazz and jazz piano, but also about classical music and classic crime fiction books and a whole host of other stuff. It’s required reading for the jazz musician and fan alike.

From Ethan’s blog, here is a great 2009 interview with Albert “Tootie” Heath. The legendary drummer talks about his musical family, Kenny Clarke, The MJQ, and tons of other stuff. A great interview. A quick sample:

Albert Heath: For drummers I listened to Max Roach, Art Blakey, Kenny Clarke, and Specs Wright, a local drummer who was an amazing musician.  He was in my brother Jimmy’s band, and he took me on as a student.  I learned most of the rudimental drum studies through him.  I kind of cast those aside for a while: you need to be really mature and secure in your musicianship to be able to sit down and deal with the basics.  When you’re young you think the basics aren’t hip.  So the rudiments I got in early life, I chucked them out, but in later life I’m discovering how important they are, and how much the guys I admired and wanted to be like knew their rudiments.  Kenny Clarke was probably one of the most rudimental players in jazz.  And Max Roach of course, same thing.  His solos were very melodic but you could still relate them to rudiments. 

Click here to read 2009 DTM interview with Albert “Tootie” Heath 

—Peter Blasevick

Tootie Heath in 2008

Four great clips of drummer Tootie Heath recorded at the Stanford Jazz Workshop in 2008. Heath spends a good deal of time answering questions like: What makes a good jazz tune? Who as your mentor? What do you think we’re here on earth to do?!? (I like that last one.)

Click here to listen to: Tootie Heath in 2008:

Part 1  Part 2  Part 3  Part 4