Bebop - Released February 18, 2003 | Savant

Organist Bill Heid has been around since the 1970s, but, although the sound he gets on his instrument hints at Jimmy Smith, he manages to largely escape that potentially dominant influence by coming up with fresh ideas, even when he plays a blues. His music swings, but sounds fairly individual. Heid is strongly assisted by the solo work of tenor saxophonist Scott Peterson and trumpeter Randy Magnarelli, with drummer Randy Gelespie and occasionally one of two percussionists giving stimulating support. Overall, this is a romping and spirited soul-jazz date from an organist who deserves to be much better known. ~ Scott Yanow

Bebop - Released November 14, 2000 | Savant

Bill Heid is a fine organist whose style has touches of Jimmy Smith, Don Patterson, and Larry Young. Although all nine selections on Dark Secrets are his originals, the music is very much in the mid-'60s tradition, with a couple blues ("Boppin' and Eatin'" is particularly enjoyable), bits of groove pieces, and some more adventurous explorations. Tenor saxophonist Scott Peterson also gets in some good solos, trumpeter Joe Margarelli is an asset, and drummer Randy Gelispie (sometimes joined by one of two percussionists) keeps the music moving. Easily recommended to fans of soul-jazz and organ-based hard bop. ~ Scott Yanow

Bebop - Released March 9, 1999 | Savant

Of the three organ combo CD's Heid has recently released he considers this his best. It's different in that he employs two saxophonists, Scott Peterson and Russ Miller. They're excellent foils, for each other and the leader. Add drummer Randy Gelespie, an uncrowned king of the kit, and you have a recording unique unto itself, sporting an ultimately provocative approach beyond that of any other B-3 date you may have ever heard. On this project Heid also sounds out-of-body, even more animated. His approach is more as a space filler, comping and urging his front liners with pungent, stinging lines that swell and expand. In a more orchestral fashion, he supplies the foundation to this rich, meaty stew. All of the eleven compositions are written by Heid, and they're far from typical chitlin laced groove biscuits, going past standard musical nomenclature. You'l hear latin informed numbers, straight ahead or hard funk variations, slow and spooky or hard bop flagwavers, and undeniably bluesy and soulful underpinnings. This group attacks the music, Peterson's wailing tenor solos and Miller's prismatic diversity, shining whether on alto, tenor, soprano or flute. Their contributions make the music happen, especially when they play unison lines as on "Covert Ops." The most impressive piece is the modal, ultra-modern "Tsun Hun" evoking images of Heid's influences, Larry Young and McCoy Tyner. Heid is like greased lightning on his runs, the saxes grind, Peterson on soprano reaches for the stratosphere, and the sound goes way beyond the norm. Heid also has a penchant for dedicational titles like "400,000 Miles" (he's the Guiness record holder for miles hitch-hiked, ) "This Little Puppy" (for his recently deceased Corgi, ) the out-and-out groove number "Big John" (for Big John Patton, ) and the hard bopper "Rubber Marshmallows." Heid is going to demand your attention before much more time passes. His refusal to be strident and predictable is his greatest quality, but he's also a undeniable virtuoso, and as imaginative a musician as there is out there. Highly recommended. ~ Michael G. Nastos