Bassist Percy Heath

Detail from the CD cover for 'A Love Song.'

Detail from the CD cover for Percy Heath's A Love Song. hide caption

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Heath died Thursday at the age of 81. The cause was bone cancer. He was the bass player for the Modern Jazz Quartet for four decades and was a charter member of the group whose musical director was pianist John Lewis.

Over the years Heath played with Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman. This interview was originally broadcast in 1986.

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