Between 2013 and 2014, the Heath Quartet performed Michael Tippett's five string quartets in four concerts at Wigmore Hall, and this double CD presents the cycle with great clarity and freshness. Tippett composed these eclectic works over a period of almost 60 years, so the many changes in style and expression can be explained by that long time span, and attributed to the composer's constant search for new sources of inspiration.
Unlike some of his other Riverside recordings, the accent on this Jimmy Heath CD reissue is very much on his tenor playing (rather than his arrangements). Heath is in excellent form with a quintet that also includes pianist Wynton Kelly, guitarist Kenny Burrell, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath. The instantly recognizable hard bop saxophonist performs four standards and three of his own compositions, including the original versions of "Gingerbread Boy" and "Project S." It's a good example of his playing talents.