In his autobiography, “I Walked with Giants,” Jimmy Heath lovingly recalled the jam sessions in his parents’ basement that would attract the likes of Dizzy Gillespie and John Coltrane. Benny Golson recounted:
Enough cannot be said about Mr. and Mrs. Heath, his mother and father, who continuously put up with all of us who used to come to their home in South Philadelphia, remove all of the furniture in the living and dining room, then begin our rehearsal. No matter what we did, how much noise (music) we made or how late we did it, they were always our champions. It was their support that, in part, enabled us to grow. And grow we did.
Indeed, they did. Both Heath and Golson are NEA Jazz Masters.