Percy Heath, 1923–2005

One of the jazz world’s most beloved members, Percy Heath died April 28 in Southampton, New York. He was 81.

The former Tuskegee Airman was best known for playing bass in his decades-long association with the Modern Jazz Quartet. He also recorded extensively with his brothers, drummer Albert “Tootie” and saxophonist Jimmy, as the Heath Brothers. After more than 50 years as a sideman, Percy finally released his first solo album A Love Song in 2004.

For more on Percy Heath’s extensive career, see his obituary in the June issue of Bass Player.