As a Co-leader or Featured Soloist
Molinete: All Tango’ed Up (Molinetemusic.com, 2020)
Robert Fields, guitar, composer; Carol Braves, violin; Steve Heckman, clarinet, flute, tenor & soprano saxophones, composer; Suzanne Schrift, bass.
Molinete was formed in 2009 by guitarist and composer Robert Fields, focusing on original Argentine Tango music. The group has evolved into the current quartet. While we know many tango standards, we focus primarily on new original music seasoned with jazz, Brazilian bossa nova and European classical music, as well as funk, blues, and strains of Middle Eastern music. Molinete is a Spanish word which means to wind or spool around a center point. It is a fundamental element in tango dancing.
[Includes: June Tango; First of the Year; Kiss; Smiling Eyes; Sigh; Tango del Norte; Changed; Sunshine, Stars & Fire; Goodbye Love; Red Tear; Twelve to One; Maybe; Tango 5; Yet Another; Hot Vodka and Cold Cigarettes] [12 tunes by Robert, 3 by Steve]
“I love the CD. It was so beautiful, at times it made me cry. So evocative.”
–Debra, Eagle River, Alaska
” … The idea of researching and performing the tango genre is most interesting and challenging. “The intertwining melodies have a refreshing sound… the album in toto is very listenable.”
–Ramon, New York
“Several years ago I had the pleasure of attending a concert of Molinete at a packed venue. Tango influenced music is such a rare genre these days. What a treat to hear such languid haunting tango melodies and other stirring pieces. The CD captures the essence of this tradition with a modern twist. I was particularly moved by the first cut, June Tango, which seemed to have a subtle Klezmer motif. May this CD be the first of many more to come. Bravo Molinete!” –
Molinete’s debut CD, “All Tango’ed Up” is a charming collection of original music by a quartet of very talented composers and musicians. Hints of other musical genres can be heard intertwined with the tango throughout. I love that every tune has been thoughtfully positioned to segue into the next; I particularly enjoy the transition from “Sigh” to “Tango del Norte”, with their rich and romantic sounds, although every piece in this collection creates its own enchanting world. The flow of the selections takes me on a perfect cinematic journey in which I envision a duo of dancers entwined in each other’s arms.
–Martha, Berkeley, CA
Available at www.Molinetemusic.com
Zeena Quinn, Going My Way (2020)
Zeena Quinn: vocals; Steve Heckman: tenor & soprano saxophones, alto & bass flutes; Adam Shulman: piano; Peter Barshay: bass; Dave Rokeach: drums; Mads Tolling: violin; Seth Asarnow: bandoneon & piano; Sascha Jacobsen: bass; Nika Rejto: flute; Ami Molinelli Hart: percussion; Edgardo Cambon: percussion.
Steve is featured as a soloist throughout this CD by Bay Area vocalist Zeena Quinn on a variety of jazz and Latin tunes, along with a who’s who of Bay Area stalwart musicians.
[Includes: Lover; So in Love; Weird Nightmare; Amado Mio; the Peacocks; Joy Spring; Nica’s Dream; O Cantador; Infant Eyes; It Might as Well be Spring; Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered; I’m Just a Lucky So and So].
Available through: Amazon.com
Live at the California Jazz Conservatory (dc jazz 61) (2021)
Dick Conte: piano; Steve Heckman: tenor saxophone; Steve Webber: bass; Akira Tana: drums.
This collection of tunes was recorded Saturday, June 16, 2018, at the California Jazz Conservatory (CJC), which provided a perfect setting to record this, some of our quartet’s best work. The event had somewhat of a bittersweet tinge, in that it was the first year that the group performed without our dear colleague, drummer/detective novelist Bill Moody (author of the Evan Horne mystery series), who sadly passed away earlier that year. However, we were extremely fortunate to have world-renowned drummer and friend Akira Tana take over the drum chair, doing a superb job without benefit of the years of prior experience that the remainder of the group have had performing with each other.
[Includes: On Green Dolphin Street (B. Kaper/N. Washington); Yours is My Heart Alone (F. Lehár/H. Smith); Blue in Green (B. Evans/M. Davis); It Could Happen to You (J. Van Heusen/J. Burke); Slow Hot Wind (H. Mancini); Early Autumn (R. Burns/W. Herman/J. Mercer); Spiral Staircase (D. Conte); That’s All (A. Brandt/B. Haymes)]
“It was with great enthusiasm that I opened my copy of this CD upon receiving it. These guys have been working in various combinations for decades, and it shows. But the music isn’t hackneyed or rote: they came to play. During the opener, Bronislaw Kaper’s “On Green Dolphin Street”, I knew I was in for a treat when Steve interpolated a phrase from David Raksin’s “Laura”, and Dick immediately echoed it—definitely indicative of the fun that was to come. A high spot of this live recording is the quartet’s performance of the ballad “Blue in Green.” [which Bill Evans wrote for Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue” recording]. There’s a double connection between the tune and this quartet: First, Dick Conte was a friend of both Miles Davis and Bill Evans, and, second, there’s nobody with greater respect for John Coltrane than Steve Heckman, so the tune was a natural as well as highly successful choice for the group to perform that evening.”
–Michael Burman, KCSM Radio, the Bay Area’s Jazz Station
The Dick Conte Quartet: Slow Hot Wind 2001 (dc jazz, 2005)
Dick Conte: piano, composer; Steve Heckman: tenor & soprano saxophones, flute & alto flute, composer; Steve Webber: bass; Bill Moody: drums.
A straight-ahead studio recording date featuring 8 standards, plus Steve’s original composition, “I Remember Zoot” (dedicated to Zoot Sims), as well as Dick Conte’s composition “Spiral Staircase.” [Selections include: Sweet Georgia Bright (Lloyd); Crazy He Calls Me (Sigman/Russell); Broadway (DeSylva/Brown/Henderson); Slow Hot Wind (Mancini); Just Friends (Lewis/Klenner); Long Ago and Far Away (Kern/Gershwin); I Remember Zoot (Heckman); Yours is My Heart Alone (Lehar); Softly as in a Morning Sunrise (Romberg); Spiral Staircase (Conte)].
The Dick Conte Quartet: Live at the San Jose Jazz Festival 2001 (dcjazz, 2002)
Steve holds down the front line on Tenor and Soprano sax with renowned DJ/pianist Dick Conte’s Quartet, capturing the excitement of a live performance. With Jazz Author Bill Moody on drums, Steve Webber, bass.
A straight-ahead set featuring 6 standards and 2 originals. [includes: Some Other Blues (Coltrane); Summertime; You Don’t Know What Love Is; All Blues (Davis); Yesterdays; The Breeze (Conte); What is This Thing Called Love; Double Gemini (Conte)].
“The group blends well, giving inventive improvisation … Heckman has a distinctive style, robust, earthy, always driving forward … Conte plays thoughtful, melodically-pleasing piano throughout, Webber can smoke a solo, and Moody never fails to pick up on what is going to happen next.”
– Jazz Now
Heikki Koskinen & Northern Winds and Voices (Edgetone Records, 2016)
Heikki (Mike) Koskinen: piano, flutes, kantele, composition; Kati Pienimaki Schenker-vocals, kantele, percussion; Steve Heckman: tenor saxophone, Bb & bass clarinets, flute, alto, bass & wood flutes; Rent Romus: alto saxophone, flutes, kantele, percussion; Noah Shanker, bass.
This project is a continuation of Heikki Koskinen’s exploration of traditional Finnish music performed in a quintet setting utilizing both modern as well as traditional instruments and voices.
[Includes: Velkutus (Koskinen); Kalevala Prelude (Koskinen); Kotimaani Onko Suomi-My Homeland, is it Finland? (trad); Maanituslaulu 1 (Koskinen); Songs My Mother Taught Me (trad)/Charles Ives); Wall-nuts 1 (NW&V free improvisation); Vilu-Cold (Koskinen); Niin Kauan Mina Tramppaan-As Long Shall I Walk (trad); Wall-nuts 2 (NW&V-free improvis-ation);Tuoll’ On Mun Kultani-Yonder is My Darling (trad/Kanteletar); Pieni Sydan-Small-Heart (Walter Rae); Maanituslaulu 2 (Koskinen); Aamulla Varhain-Early in the Morning (trad); Vaaputus (NW&V); Maanituslaulu 3 (Koskinen); Kukerrus (NW&V free improvisation); Paljakka-Top of the Fell (NW&V free improvisation); Songs My Mother Taught Me (trad)/Charles Ives-alternate take); Aamulla Varhain-Early in the Morning-alternate take (trad)].
Available through Edgetone Records
Heikki Koskinen & Steve Heckman Taysikuu-Full Moon (Music Vision, 2007)
Heikki (Mike) Koskinen: piano, tenor recorder, Kbd bass, accordion, percussion; composition; Steve Heckman: tenor and soprano saxophones, clarinet, flute, alto flute.
This duo project features Steve and Finnish pianist/trumpeter/composer Heikki Koskinen performing traditional Finnish folk tunes merged with jazz and Latin rhythms.
[Includes: Matalan Torpan Balladi-The Ballad of the Low Croft (trad Finnish); Kyla Vuotti Uutta Kuuta-the Village Waited for the New Moon (trad Finnish); Oi Dai (trad Finnish); Tausikuu-Full Moon (Toivo Karki); Kaleva Melody(trad Finnish); Sulle Salaisuuden Kertoa Ma Voisin-I Could Tell You a Secret (George de Godzinsky); Ranskalaiset Korot-French Heels (Erik Lindstrom); Midnight Sun (Heikki Koskinen); Iltatunnelma-Eventide (Toivo Kuula); Eu Esperu-I Hope (Steve Heckman); Karjalan Kunnaila-Hills of Karelia (trad Finnish); Jag Sai I Oster-I Saw in the East (Ale Moller); Reppurin Laulu-Vagabond’s Song (Oskar Merikanto); Hipster’s Hymn (Heikki Koskinen)].
Available through: www.cdbaby.com
Heikki Koskinen: Midnight Sun (Music Vision, 2002)
Heikki (Mike) Koskinen: keyboards, trumpet, fleugelhorn, composer: Steve Heckman: tenor and soprano saxophones, alto flute; Michael Spiro: percussion. Also includes: Hadley Caliman (tenor sax, flute), Neil Kirkwood (piano), Heshima Mark Williams (bass), Larry Hancock (drums).
Steve is featured on tenor and soprano sax and alto flute on Finnish pianist/trumpeter/composer Heikki Koskinen’s highly creative project blending traditional Finnish folk tunes with jazz and Latin rhythms.
[Includes: M’s Birthday; Earth Spiritual/The Saints Don’t Mind Dancing; Ol’ Kaunis Kesailta (A Lovely Summer Evening); Lannen Lokari (Western Logger); Mother Africa; Taala Pohjantahden Alla (Under the Northern Star); Silloin Mina Itkin (Then I Cried); Daydreams; Hyttystanssi (Mosquito Dance); Fort Funston Beach; Merilaulu (Sea Song); Cry; Invocation; Waiting For the Wind; Alex’s Lullaby; 4 AM].
Available through: www.cdbaby.com
SFCJQ: The San Francisco Chamber Jazz Quartet (Music Wizards, 2005)
Gini Wilson: piano, composer; Steve Heckman: tenor/soprano saxophones, flute, clarinet, composer; Pat Klobas: bass, composer; Ron Marabuto: drums; featuring special guests Jackie Ryan, (vocals on tracks 1, 4, 5, 7) and Badr Karram: (dumbek on track 9).
[Includes: Un Amour Un Poco Tragico (Wilson); Morning Song of a Falcon; (Wilson); Maybe (Heckman); Separate Ways (Kim Nalley & Gini Wilson); Lucky Monkey (vocal) (Wilson); Suave Dequeza (Armandio Cabral); Someday Your Smile (Wilson); Promenade (Mussorgsky) /Mussorgsky in Marrakesh (Mussorgsky arr. Wilson); Let It Rain (Klobas); O Town Blues (Heckman); Lucky Monkey (instrumental) (Wilson)].
“Jazz is the keyword, to be sure. We reviewed Steve Heckman‘s sax, clarinet & flute on this outing and were highly impressed … They congeal into one of the tightest jazz quartets we’ve heard in a while …” Lucky Monkey” just rocks & jumps! I’m especially fond of (Heckman’s) “O Town Blues”, which blends Gini’s sweet keyboards with a really full-throat sax sound, & kicks right along … perfect music for the road! If you’re looking for a jazz album that will take you along for a joyride – GET this one… it’s MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for jazz fans the world over.
— Dick Metcalf, Improvijazzation Nation
“…pianist Gini Wilson founded this ensemble with reedman Steve Heckman in 2002. Effortlessly and beautifully blending the realms of jazz and classical. “Un Amor un Poco Tragico” eases effortlessly from a classical hypnosis to a playful swing vibe …Anchored by Wilson’s deft playing and quick-shifting mood swings, SFCJQ continues… with the help of guest vocalist Jackie Ryan and a centerpiece from composer Amandio Cabral (“Suave Duqueza,” very much a biography of Wilson both literally and musically). Heckman’s playful, strutting “O Town Blues” is good old- fashioned bebop away from the classical tone completely… with a little ingenuity, seemingly disparate musical styles …create perfect harmony. “
— Jonathan Widran, All Music Guide
“Maybe” … features Heckman’s on tenor sax, which he plays most lyrically … “Mussorgsky in Marrakesh from “Pictures At An Exhibition” … where Badr Karram on dumbek and Heckman’s soprano provide the sound of a Near Eastern marketplace … Heckman picks up his tenor sax for a tribute to Oakland, California on “O Town Blues”. The result is a toe-tapping quartet performance.”
— Michael P. Gladstone, All About Jazz
The San Francisco Chamber Jazz Quartet: Portfolio: SFCJQ Live (Music Wizards, 2014)
Gini Wilson: piano, composer; Steve Heckman: tenor/soprano saxophones, Native American flute, clarinet, composer; Pat Klobas: bass, composer; Ron Marabuto: drums; Jackie Ryan, vocals on track 5; Badr Karram: dumbek on track 7.
The San Francisco Chamber Jazz Quartet featuring a combination of live performances at Kuumbwa Jazz Center, Santa Cruz, CA and the San Jose Jazz Festival, with several studio recordings done at Fantasy Studios in Berkley, CA.
[Includes: Tango Oscura (Steve Heckman); Satie in the Sahara (Eric Satie/Gini Wilson);
High Prairie (Gini Wilson); Morning Song of a Falcon (Gini Wilson); Un Amour Un Poco Tragico (Gini Wilson); Promenade (Mussorgsky) /Mussorgsky in Marrakesh (Mussorgsky arr. Gini Wilson); Maybe (Steve Heckman); Blue Orleans (Gini Wilson); Four (Miles Davis); Tango D’Amour Perdu (Steve Heckman)].
“Effortlessly and beautifully blending the realms of jazz and classical”
–Ken Hohman, All About Jazz.
The Crossing Point: Chamberjazz: The Gini Wilson Quartet with Steve Heckman
Gini Wilson (“the Duchess”): piano, composer; Steve Heckman: tenor and soprano saxophones, flute, composer; Paul Breslin/John Wiitala: bass; Ron Marabuto: drums.
[Includes: Mountain Path/Mountain Meadow (Wilson); Tango d ‘Amour Perdu (Heckman); The Peacocks (Rowles); Satie in the Sahara (Wilson); Aung San Suu Kyi (Shorter); Adios Nonino (Piazzolla); Gary’s Theme (McFarland); Smith’s Song (Heckman & Wilson); The Fires of September (Wilson); Luminoso (Wilson); J.S. Monk (Bach/Monk)].
“Profoundly moving, this CD explores a deeply emotional musical landscape of surprising and haunting visions; from Satie and Monk to Bach and Piazzolla. Wilson and Heckman create a bewitching interchange, at the same time emotionally charged and understated…Delectable!”
–Kathleen Lawton, KCSM, San Mateo/San Francisco Bay Area
“Heckman is one heck of a composer. As the quartet [to a full house at the Plush Room for the CD release party] played his “Tango D’Amour Perdu” the Duchess warned: ‘People who have never met tend to run away with each other before we’re finished playing this tune.”
— San Francisco Examiner
Gerald Beckett: The Messenger (Summit Records DCD628, 2014)
Steve is featured playing tenor saxophone on 2 selections on another album of Hubert Laws-inspired flutist Gerald Beckett, including tunes by Lee Morgan, Duke Pearson, Sam Jones, Bud Powell, Alan Pasqua,Wayne Shorter, Gerald Beckett, Kenneth Hawkins, Steve McQuarry, and Sharman Duran. Steve is featured on extended solos on Lee Morgan’s “Anticlimax” as well as Alan Pasqua’s “Mr. Softee.”
Also featuring excellent work by San Francisco Bay Area musicians Ruben Salcido on alto sax, Steve McQuarry on piano, Gary Zellerbach on guitars, Ollie Dudek on bass, Greg German on drums, and Bill Keaney on percussion.
Available through: www.summitrecords.com
Gerald Beckett: Flute Vibes (Summit Records DCD439, 2005)
Steve is featured playing tenor on 2 selections on this album of rarely heard jazz standards led by Hubert Laws-inspired flutist Gerald Beckett, including tunes by Richie Beirach, Hal Galper, Mal Waldron, Jim Hall, Walter Bishop, Don Sebesky and Wayne Shorter.
Steve is featured on an extended solo on Shorter’s “The Soothsayer” taken at a brisk tempo. Also featuring work by SF Bay Area stalwarts Erik Von Buchau on vibes, David Udolf on piano, Aaron Germain on bass, Niels Myrner on drums, Graham Bruce on fleugelhorn, Max Perkoff on trombone, Damien Masterson on harmonica, Khalil Doak-Anthony and Dave Bell alternating on guitar, and Antonio Davidson-Gomez on percussion.
Available through: www.summitrecords.com
Chuck Metcalf Quartet, Trio and Solo: Thinking of You (Lyrichromatic 041, 2004)
Steve Heckman: tenor, soprano, and baritone saxophone; David Udolf: piano; Chuck Metcalf: bass, composer; Ron Marabuto: drums.
The late veteran bassist and composer Chuck Metcalf has performed with such notables as saxophonists Dexter Gordon, Frank Morgan and Jim Pepper; vocalists Anita O’day, Ernestine Anderson, and Kenny Rankin; pianist George Cables; and violinist Joe Venuti. In addition to being featured on vocalist Mark Murphy’s landmark album, “Stolen Moments”, he has also been voted into the Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame.
Steve is featured to excellent advantage on this straight-ahead date featuring 4 standards and 9 originals by Chuck, including: Feet First (Metcalf); Budnips (Metcalf); What Our Love Means to Me (Metcalf); Blues for Amos (Sam Jones); Bu’s Dues (Metcalf); Byzantium (Metcalf); This is All I Ask (Gordon Jenkins); Refigured (Metcalf); Compassion (Metcalf); Samba Nana (Metcalf); I Got it Bad (Ellington) Thinking of You (Kalmar/Ruby); Mademoiselle Dubois (Metcalf).
You’ll have to hunt for this one.
Frankye Kelly: The Night is Young (FK 9647, 1995)
Frankye Kelly: vocals; Steve Heckman: tenor and soprano saxophone; Dee Spencer: piano; Heshima Mark Williams: bass: Bob Braye: drums; Yancie Taylor: vibes. Recorded live at Kimball’s San Francisco.
[Includes: Our Day Will Come; Mood Indigo; The Night is Young; Tenderly; Lullaby of Birdland; I’m Glad There is You; No Moon at All; Speak Low; Love for Sale; If Trouble Was Money].
“Kelly is accompanied by very fine musicians who not only give strong support, but enhance the performance with expressive and knowledgeable solos. Not the least of these is the tough tenor playing by Steve Heckman. Heckman picks up his soprano to provide the trappings for Kelly’s sumptuous rendition of ‘Speak Low’.”
– Dave Nathan
“Her title tune…has a mid-Coltrane Quartet feel…heightened by a distinctive Steve Heckman soprano solo. Heckman is featured impressively on tenor on an extended “Tenderly” with a dark, muscular quality reminiscent of Britisher Tommy Smith.”
Available through: www.musicinthevines.com
Erik Von Buchau: Contrasts (2005)
Steve is featured on 4 of the 10 selections on this studio date by the unsung but supremely talented vibraphonist Erik von Buchau, a session that also includes Steve’s favorite pianist, Matt Clark, who is featured on all of Steve’s CDs.
Steve plays Tenor Saxophone on the selections: “Zyrdo”; “Good Morning Samba”; “Buena Vista” (All 3 by Erik), and Wayne Shorter’s tune, “Fall.” This date also includes: Fred Randolph on bass, Erik Garland on drums, and Steve Fogel on percussion.
Available through: email@example.com
Jesse Foster: People, Places and Songs (Lifeforcejazz LFR 1040, 2004)
Steve is featured on 2 selections on this album comprised of 10 originals by vocalist Foster. He plays Tenor Saxophone on the tune: “All Day, All Night, John Coltrane”; and Flute on the tune: “Jobim’s Way.”
Further information can be found at: www.Lifeforcejazz.com
Fran Foston: With a Song in My Heart (Hazel Eyes, 2000)
Fran Foston: Vocals; Art Khu: Piano; Derek Jones: Bass; Michael Aragon: drums; Steve Heckman: Tenor and Soprano Saxophone; Yolanda Nickell: Alto Saxophone; Chuck McKinnon: Fleugelhorn; John MacKay: Synthesizer; Fran Foston, Debbie Foston, Rhoyal DH Foston: Background Vocals.
[Includes: While We’re Young; If Ever I Would Leave You; Hello Young Lovers; The Very Thought of You; My Love; Never Let Me Go; I Remember You; On the Street Where you Live; With a Song in My Heart; That Sunday, That Summer; Someone Else is Steppin’ In; You Don’t Know What Love Is; That Old Black Magic; Something Cool].
Steve is featured on the tunes: “My Love” (soprano sax) and “You Don’t Know What Love is” (Tenor Sax).
You’ll have to hunt for this one.
River Romance: Martha Blackard (Riverworks, 2003)
Steve is featured as soloist on the selection: “Meaning of the Blues” on this set by vocalist Martha Blackard. Featuring arrangements by Graham Bruce and including some of the best talent in the Bay Area in big band, octet, sextet, septet, quintet, and trio settings.
Available through Riverworks: (707) 226-2663 or www.cdbaby.com