All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

3

Dizzy Gillespie: Concert Of The Century

Mark E. Gallo By

Sign in to view read count
This superb album was recorded at the Montreux Jazz Festival in November of 1980. All of the principals have passed on, so it's that much more of a treat. Trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie fronted the group of Ray Brown (bass), Milt Jackson (vibraphone), Hank Jones (piano), Philly Joe Jones (drums) and James Moody (tenor sax and flute), and the few thousand folks in attendance must have been delirious with joy.

What a magnificent collection of musical geniuses. The tribute to Charlie Parker (Bird) by his contemporaries, all of whom were at the top of their game at the performance, is rife with stunning performances. The nearly 11-minute "Blue 'n' Boogie" opens with a brief soaring trumpet intro before the band comes in. Moody's tenor follows and laughter can be heard onstage as Jones' drums propel him to reach further. Then comes Bags (Jackson), commanding the vibes as few have. Gillespie comes back in for a jaw- dropping solo before pianist Jones takes his turn, and then they all trade fours. This is one of the most exciting tunes ever captured on a recording, and that's only the first of eight amazing tunes; at the end, the audience is rapturous.

Gillespie introduces Jackson, who plays a superb "If I Should Lose You" that is tender and delicate. Moody takes center stage on flute for "Darben the Redd Fox" and the rhythm section comes along for the journey. Hank Jones opens "Time On My Hands," with vibes and bass joining the band leader's trumpet. The ballad is performed by this stellar cast with the sort of nuance that only masters achieve. It backs out the way it came in, with a vibe solo, then piano, and then trumpet. Philly Joe Jones sets up "Get Happy" as Gillespie and Jackson take off at full throttle. The band mates each take a section, and the drummer keeps the engine rocking. "The Shadow of Your Smile" is introduced by Moody's high register saxophone squeaks, with Hank Jones' answering in kind. The tune is then played straight, although with some speed, with Brown heard prominently underneath the tenor and piano. At the halfway point the vibes and drums check in and the pianist takes a solo, his command of the instrument, glorious. Gillespie's dizzying solo follows and Moody takes it out with his tenor.

Next up is "Bass Solo/Manha de Carnival/Work Song," in which Gillespie introduces Brown as "the Boss of the Bass," which the bassist then clearly demonstrates. Brown has the stage to himself and gives a tutorial on the possibilities of his instrument with spellbinding lines. As piano and drums join, the audience applauds loudly. Brown then breaks into "Work Song," bending notes and picking at both ends of the instrument while floating back to "Manha de Carnival." It's one of the great performances on double bass. The closer, "Stardust" is a vehicle for Gillespie, and demonstrates why he was one of the great trumpeters in the history of jazz.

This recording stands with Oscar Peterson's Big Six (also from Montreux) as one of the great live performances committed to tape and now to compact disc. In a five-star world, this is a ten-star recording.

Track Listing: Blue 'n' Boogie; If I Should Lose You; Darben the Redd Foxx; Get Happy ; The Shadow Of Your Smile; Bass Solo/Manha de Carnaval/Work Song; Stardust.

Personnel: Dizzy Gillespie: trumpet; Ray Brown: bass; Milt Jackson, vibraphone; Hank Jones, piano; Philly Joe Jones, drums; James Moody, tenor sax, flute.

Title: Concert Of The Century | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Justin-Time

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Jazz Raconteurs
My Blue Note Obsession
Reassessing
CD/LP/Track Review
Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Legends Live

Legends Live

JazzHausMusik
2012

buy
Four Classic Albums

Four Classic Albums

Avid Records UK
2011

buy
 

Dizzy Gillespie...

Green Line SRL
2011

buy
 

The Best Of...

Green Line SRL
2011

buy

Related Articles

Read You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To CD/LP/Track Review
You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 24, 2018
Read We Out Here CD/LP/Track Review
We Out Here
by Chris May
Published: February 24, 2018
Read Best of the Bootlegs 2017 CD/LP/Track Review
Best of the Bootlegs 2017
by Doug Collette
Published: February 24, 2018
Read The Asylum Years CD/LP/Track Review
The Asylum Years
by Doug Collette
Published: February 24, 2018
Read Solo Contra CD/LP/Track Review
Solo Contra
by Daniel Barbiero
Published: February 24, 2018
Read Ellipse CD/LP/Track Review
Ellipse
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 23, 2018
Read "Story Tellers" CD/LP/Track Review Story Tellers
by Duncan Heining
Published: August 26, 2017
Read "Moments Of Fatherhood" CD/LP/Track Review Moments Of Fatherhood
by John Sharpe
Published: April 9, 2017
Read "Morph" CD/LP/Track Review Morph
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 2, 2017
Read "Love + Time + Divination" CD/LP/Track Review Love + Time + Divination
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2018
Read "Generations" CD/LP/Track Review Generations
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 16, 2017
Read "Combsy" CD/LP/Track Review Combsy
by Doug Collette
Published: October 28, 2017