GEORGIA (CelebrityAccess) – Prolific jazz saxophonist, composer, and bandleader Jimmy Heath passed away Sunday (Jan. 19) of natural causes, according to The New York Times. He was 93.
In a career that spanned seven decades, Heath wrote 125 songs, several of which went on to become jazz standards performed by the likes of Chet Baker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Ray Charles. Known for his big saxophone sound, he shared the stage with everyone from Miles Davis and John Coltrane to Wynton Marsalis and Howard McGhee, among others. But, perhaps his biggest contribution to the genre, was bringing the bebop revolution of the 1940s to big bands and later into the 21st century, helping to preserve its distinct sound.
More recently, Heath worked as Professor of Music at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Mona Heath, his children Mtume and Rozie, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as his brother, drummer Albert “Tootie” Heath, among others.