196

The Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Stars: The Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Stars: Dizzy's 80th Birthday Party

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
A few years preceding John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie's death in 1993 through the present have seen the release of several tribute discs to the creator of Modern Jazz. The majority of these recordings have been basically live jam sessions with some moments of interesting music, but for the most part they are a self-indulgent bore. It was with no small amount of fear form my entertainment dollar that I picked up The Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Stars: Dizzy's 80th Birthday Party. I purchased it because it had a seven minute plus performance of one of my favorite Gillespie compositions, "Birk's Works." I saw the independent label and decided to take a chance.

It turns out that this is a very fun disc. The first thing that struck me about it, was the crisp sonic and superb engineering. Quite a sharp bit of recording. Not only are the sonics sharp, the performance and execution are also impressive. Jon Faddis, more than Arturo Sandoval, is the appropriate trumpet player for this recording. His playing is crisp, well defined, and stratospheric, just like his mentor's.

The disc is heavy on the Latin influenced compositions, weighing in with "Fiesta Mojo," "Poor Joe," "Manteca," and "Con Alma." These are all immediately accessible and satisfying. But there is also a huge dose of bebop with "Salt Peanuts," "Birk's Works," "A Night in Tunisia," "Dizzy Atmosphere" and "BeBop".

These songs all provide superb vehicles for superb soloists. Faddis is outstanding on any song that endures his spitfire trumpet. Antonio Hart shows off his chops on a draftsman exact arrangement of "A Night in Tunisia," a slow burning "Con Alma" and a archetypically bebop "Dizzy Atmosphere." Andres Boiarsky is especially fine on the too-funky-to-survive "Manteca." The rhythm section is very good, in spite of my dislike for the electric bass in an acoustic setting. However, an acoustic bass could not have carried the burning "Manteca" as John Lee's electric did. Cyrus Chestnut was uniformly good throughout the recording. All percussion was precise and workmanlike.

This is a very enjoyable recording. I would recommend it to any new jazz fan who otherwise might be scared away by the poor sonics of historic recordings. This is the type of recording that can set the hook of jazz in any receptive listener and make them want to explore the roots of this most essential of American art forms.


Track Listing: Salt Peanuts, Fiesta Mojo, Birk

Personnel: John Faddis: Trumpet, Lead Vocals; Cyrus Chestnut: Piano, Vocals; Antonio Hart: Alto Sax; Andres Boiarsky: Tenor Sax, Vocals John Lee: Bass; Ignacio Berroa: Drums; Duduka Da Fonesca: Percussion; Gabriel Machado: Congas.

Title: The Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Stars: Dizzy's 80th Birthday Party | Year Released: 1998 | Record Label: Shanachie Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Way of It CD/LP/Track Review The Way of It
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Tag Book CD/LP/Track Review Tag Book
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Hide Ye Idols CD/LP/Track Review Hide Ye Idols
by Troy Collins
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Spavati, Mozda Sanjati CD/LP/Track Review Spavati, Mozda Sanjati
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn CD/LP/Track Review Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Queen City Blues CD/LP/Track Review Queen City Blues
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 18, 2017
Read "Short Notice" CD/LP/Track Review Short Notice
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 30, 2017
Read "United" CD/LP/Track Review United
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 23, 2017
Read "Disorder at the Border Plays Ornette" CD/LP/Track Review Disorder at the Border Plays Ornette
by Nicola Negri
Published: December 24, 2016
Read "Asteroidea" CD/LP/Track Review Asteroidea
by Troy Dostert
Published: November 9, 2017
Read "Juxtaposition" CD/LP/Track Review Juxtaposition
by David A. Orthmann
Published: March 9, 2017
Read "Harmonies" CD/LP/Track Review Harmonies
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 10, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.

Please support out sponsor