The second recording by the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band offers seventy minutes of superb, often legendary talents doing full justice to timeless material. While only three of the eleven tracks are technically Gillespie compositions, his spirit lives on in joyous, swinging arrangements and sparkling trumpet solos by Claudio Roditi, Roy Hargrove, Randy Brecker and Greg Gisbert. His signature playfulness is also expressed in two Monk tunes which blend nicely into the mix.
Many of the band members are Gillespie alumni; in fact, the personnel list reads like a "Who's Who" of modern jazz. Also joining the party is vocalist Roberta Gambarini, who is "introduced" on this release (her own first CD, Easy to Love, appeared almost at the same time). Gambarini's lighthearted scatting with James Moody on "Blue 'N Boogie" is a highlight of the CD, as are her beautiful, straightforward takes on "Stardust" and "Morning of the Carnival," which float gracefully over Slide Hampton's lush arrangements.
Given its multiple textures and the bounty of impeccable solos, Dizzy's Business offers more delights with each hearing. Recorded in 2005 at the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild, it features the crackling energy and audience response that only a live performance can provide; moreover, the sound quality is so crisp and warm that it feels like you're personally witnessing the event.
Track Listing: Dizzy's Business; Con Alma; Blue 'N' Boogie; I Mean You; Without You--No Me (To Dizzy); Hot House; Stardust; Tour de Force; Moody's Groove; Morning of the Carnival; Off Minor.
Personnel: James Moody: tenor saxophone, flute, vocals; Jimmy Heath: tenor saxophone; Frank Wess and Antonio Hart: alto saxophone, flute; Gary Smulyan: baritone saxophone; Frank Greene: lead trumpet; Roy Hargrove, Greg Gisbert and Randy Brecker: trumpet; Claudio Roditi: trumpet and percussion; Jason Jackson: lead trombone; Steve Davis: trombone; Jay Ashby: trombone, percussion; Douglas Purviance: bass trombone; Mulgrew Miller: piano; Marty Ashby: guitars; John Lee: bass/executive director; Dennis Mackrel: drums; Roberta Gambarini: vocals.
I love jazz because it is both challenging and exhilarating, and the endeavor of improvisation is the highest form of art.
I met so many great musicians--including my two earliest heroes, Maynard Ferguson and Dizzy Gillespie--by attending concerts
and being willing to treat them with the respect they deserve.
The best show I ever attended was the Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman Song X concert at Cornell University.
The first jazz record I bought was an RCA compilation by Dizzy Gillespie.
My advice to new listeners is to not be afraid to listen to something because you're not familiar with the artists or the band or
the genre or anything - this is music that is best experienced through discovery.