Tootie Heath is now the producer and leader of The Whole Drum Truth, a jazz drum ensemble featuring Ben Riley, Ed Thigpen, Jackie Williams, Billy Hart, Charli Persip, Leroy Williams and Louis Hayes.
In jazz, as in baseball and haute cuisine, the most consistently reliable performers are often overshadowed by media-anointed superstars or this year's model. So it is with the Heath Brothers, the legendary Philadelphia triumvirate of jazz. Together and apart these unassuming professional musicians have lent their talents to an amazing array of wonderful albums, including the Modern Jazz Quartet, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and Thelonius Monk. Local filmmaker Jesse Block's joyful tribute (produced by fellow Bay Area resident and renowned music man Danny Scher, who originated the project in his backyard) exudes affection and low-key mastery, blending upbeat interviews with invigorating music. The Heath Brothers may not swing as hard as they once did, but that's only because-like veteran shortstops or chefs-they've eliminated all unnecessary motion.-M. Fox