Albert “Tootie” Heath and Chuck Israels
Portland doesn’t just house nationally known bands—we’re home to some of the country’s best backup musicians. This month, Portland bassist Chuck Israels reunites with drummer and fellow jazz legend Albert “Tootie” Heath for Heath’s birthday celebration. Israels made his recording debut on saxophonist John Coltrane’s Coltrane Time in 1959 and went on to play with Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, Stan Getz, Herbie Hancock, J. J. Johnson, and many others. Meanwhile, Tootie has recorded with Nina Simone, Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock, J. J. Johnson, and countless more, in addition to joining with brothers Jimmy and Percy to create the Heath Brothers band. Not only did they both make their recording debuts with Coltrane (Heath on Coltrane’s first record, Coltrane, in 1957), but their paths have crossed multiple times, from the iconic pianist Bobby Timmons’s New York trio in the late 1950s to, most recently, Dr. Barry Harris’s Los Angeles trio in the ’70s.