Don Heckman

Improvisational Jazz Workshop

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Don Heckman is best known as a jazz journalist, but for a time he was also an adventurous and talented alto saxophonist. His only date as a leader resulted in this now very obscure LP. Heckman is heard teaming up with tenor saxophonist Ed Summerlin (the co-leader of the "Improvisational Jazz Workshop"), trumpeter Lew Gluckin, trombonist Bob Norden, pianist Steve Kuhn, Ron Carter or Steve Swallow on bass and Joe Hunt or Joe Cocuzzo on drums. The altoist takes some impressive solos, showing that he was one of the first to utilize the innovations of Eric Dolphy in his playing. The ensemble performs two originals apiece by Heckman and Summerlin; the only minus to the date is Lisa Zanda's purposely odd vocal on "Five Heikus." This album has long been a collector's item.