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REASSESSING

Dizzy Gillespie: Dizzy’s Big 4

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Dizzy Gillespie Dizzy's Big 4 OJC 1975/2013 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, ...

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 ...



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