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Dizzy Gillespie: Dizzy’s Big 4

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Dizzy GillespieDizzy's Big 4OJC1975/2013 Concord Music Group kicked off their Pablo Records 40th anniversary celebration with the releases of John Coltrane: Afro Blue Impressions (Pablo, 1963/2013) and Sarah Vaughan: Sophisticated Lady: The Duke Ellington Songbook (Pablo,2013) both supplemented by improved programming. These releases have been followed by additional straight remasters of: Zoot Sims And The Gershwin Brothers (Pablo, 1975/2013), Art Tatum: Solo Masterpieces, Volume 1 (Pablo, 1975/2013), and, now, Dizzy's Big 4. Trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie first recorded “Be Bop (Dizzy's Fingers)" in New York City, January 9, 1945, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dizzy Gillespie Quintet: Legends Live

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The Jazzhaus label has, on its hands, an archive of some 1600 audio and more than 350 video recordings taken from live radio and T.V. broadcasts in post-World War II Germany, featuring some of the most vital jazz artists of the time. These recordings are now being released. The first batch of the Legends Live series included sets by drummer Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, alto saxophonist Cannonball Adderley, and baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan. The second wave of releases is headlined by the Dizzy Gillespie Quintet.Trumpeter Gillespie was one of the bona fide fathers of bebop, having ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dizzy Gillespie: Four Classic Albums

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Trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie was one of the few jazz musicians equally adept (and influential) in small groups and fronting big bands. After the bebop heyday, he spent the fifties equally divided between smaller groups and a larger orchestra. His days as a bebop pioneer and a developer of Afro-Cuban music behind him, he now had a new role: ambassador. The sessions covered by this compilation come from around the time that Gillespie led a crack big band for a State Department sponsored tour overseas. Two of them, 1957's Dizzy Gillespie at Newport and 1954's Dizzy Gillespie and his Orchestra, are ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Dizzy Gillespie: I'm Beboppin Too & The Cool World

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Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big BandI'm BeBoppin' Too Half Note2009 Dizzy GillespieThe Cool WorldPhilips-Verve2009 The legacy of Dizzy Gillespie's pioneering bebop big band could not be served better than by the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band, the successor to the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Star Big Band that featured Jon Faddis. Since his departure the band dropped “Alumni" from the name and Executive Director John Lee and Musical Director Slide Hampton now put the emphasis squarely ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dizzy Gillespie: Showtime at The Spotlite

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Clark Monroe's Uptown House in Harlem was an incubator of bebop, so it wasn't a surprise that Monroe gave Dizzy Gillespie a venue for reviving his big band at the short-lived (1944 to early 1947) 52nd Street club, The Spotlite, in 1946. Two CDs capture two sets toward the end of that historic engagement in June, as recorded by Jerry Newman, the same intrepid fan who recorded gestational bebop after-hours jams at Uptown House and Minton's Playhouse in Harlem earlier in the '40s with Gillespie, Charlie Parker and Charlie Christian. Considering the low-fi disc recorder source, the sound is pretty ...

ARTIST PROFILES

Dizzy Gillespie: Bebop Birthday

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The bent trumpet, the beret, the horn-rimmed glasses and ballooning cheeks when he played--these alone are enough to identify trumpeter, bandleader, singer and composer “Dizzy" Gillespie. Born John Birks Gillespie in rural Cheraw, South Carolina on October 21st, 1917, he was the youngest of nine children. His father was a musician, so he was exposed to music and was able to obtain a working knowledge of several instruments--he was playing piano at the age of four, started on trombone at age 14 and trumpet a year later. He went on to study harmony and theory at Laurinburg Institute in North ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dizzy Gillespie Big Band: Showtime at the Spotlite

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Dizzy Gillespie's big band fused the intricacies of bebop with the high-powered riffing into a short lived but exciting outfit. This concert, recorded on 52nd Street in 1946, is one of few occasions to hear the trumpeter's band live and in its prime. A word of caution, though: this CD is a result of amateur taping (by Jerry Newman, no less) and the usual limitations occur, although the sound quality is very good and not too distracting. Beyond that, this was a skilled outfit capable of whipping up some fierce excitement on the bandstand. A look at ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gil Fuller with Dizzy Gillespie & James Moody: Gil Fuller & The Monterey Jazz Festival Orchestra featuring Dizzy Gillespie/Night Flight

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Make a shortlist of your favorite, classic Dizzy Gillespie songs and the odds are that more than a few of them will share a connection to arranger Gil Fuller. Gillespie worked closely with Fuller during the height of his big band period in the mid to late ‘40s, resulting in numerous essential recordings. Their collaboration also produced a handful of eventual standards on which Gillespie and Fuller share songwriting credit, such as “Manteca” and “Tin Tin Deo.” By 1965, Dizzy wasn’t working with Fuller in an official capacity; the trumpeter toured and recorded on his own while the ...

JAZZ ART

John Taylor's Jazz Caricatures: Dizzy Gillespie

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Dizzy Gillespie About John Taylor For me, art and music flow into a creative confluence. Encouraged by my family to draw and play the drums at an early age, I continue to find expression in these art forms.Motivation for a career in art and music developed in the 1960's as I observed theme park caricaturists at work and listened to recordings of the inimitable Buddy Rich. Gifted editorial caricaturist, David Levine, also influenced my artwork.Caricature drawing and jazz music are intuitive, personal modes of expression and one seems to grow ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dizzy Gillespie: Night in Tunisia: The Very Best of Dizzy Gillespie

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It's quite a stretch to call this CD the very best, since all of the music was recorded between 1946 and 1949. Dizzy Gillespie (1917-1993) was one of the leaders of bebop but also forged an important and unshakable relationship between jazz and Afro-Cuban music that lasts to this day. His recording career spans more than five decades. The CD opens with “A Night in Tunisia, played with the kind of energy of which only innovators are capable. Ray Brown's bass comes in like a ball of fire, JC Heard's Latin drumming is devoid of clichés and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Charlie Parker & Dizzy Gillespie: Bird And Diz

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Charlie Parker played in some strange settings during his career--with a cowboy band in Hollywood, a “Gypsy" string trio in a Manhattan restaurant, the street busker Moondog, and several klezmer bands--but such liaisons tended to be random, unrecorded encounters in clubs and restaurants. Aside from a 1945 session which included the novelty hipster, vocalist and guitarist Slim Gaillard and the New Orleans drummer Zutty Singleton, which was issued under Gaillard's name, bop's pre-eminent saxophonist preferred to record with carefully chosen, like-minded A-listers.

Which makes this 1950 session for producer Norman Granz a strange one, particularly as it came so late ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band: Dizzy's Business

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This is a “ghost band" in the midst of an exorcism. Dizzy's ghost is almost gone. Past editions of this band featured Jon Faddis, Dizzy's most faithful acolyte, on trumpet, carrying the torch. No torch carriers here: sans Faddis, the other trumpeters obviously feel no compunction to channel Dizzy bop lines in their solos. And while previous bands dug heavily into the archives for charts, this band only uses two charts from the Dizzy Big Band era--both Ernie Wilkins arrangements that would sound just as at home in Count Basie's Orchestra, which Wilkins also arranged for--preferring new takes on Dizzy's ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band: Dizzy's Business

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Concert-goers at Pittsburgh's Manchester Craftsmen's Guild last September-October chanced upon the best of all possible worlds--terrific charts by Ernie Wilkins, Slide Hampton, Dennis Mackrel and Jimmy Heath, marvelously played by the accurately named Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band. If you aren't among those lucky enough to have been there, your luck has taken a turn for the better, as highlights from the series of incendiary performances were preserved on tape and are now available on this exhilarating release from MCG.

Make no mistake, this is an all-star band that truly deserves the label. There's a star in every chair, and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dizzy Gillespie: The Verve / Philips Dizzy Gillespie Small Group Sessions

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Recorded from May, 1954 to April, 1964, these 132 small-group sides just might not have happened--except that like so many others, Dizzy Gillespie's big band had fallen on hard times by the early '50s. This seven-disc compilation is filled with signature classics such as “Salt Peanuts and “A Night In Tunisia, documenting the evolving artistry of John Birks Gillespie, a true jazz giant. As Donald L. Maggin observes in his detailed liner notes, “As a creator of the bebop and Afro-Cuban revolutions during the 1940s, he twice fundamentally changed the way jazz improvisation was done. It was as if Monet ...



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