All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.
Recorded in '90, three years before Dizzy Gillespie's death at age 76, this reissued album was a soundtrack for a movie of the same name. Never released in the US, the film shows the jazz legend in the role of a famous jazz musician. The compositions are by Gillespie and executive producer Charles Fishman, along with a then-unknown young Panamanian pianist, Danilo Perez. Arrangements are by Slide Hampton.
As compositions some of the tunes stand on their own, independent of the movie, as well-crafted works (Fishman's ballad "Magic Summer," in particular). First performed with vocals by a husky-voiced, classically-trained Leola Jiles, and then orchestrally and finally solo by Perez, the relaxed, melodic song can easily become part of any jazz musician's repertoire. Gillespie's "San Sebastian" is a Latin ditty with shifting tempos highlighted by a nimble-fingered Perez. On "Lisbon," the pianist once again displays his talent on a ballad with thoughtful, delicate work on the eighty-eights. Gillespie's "Isthmus" is a catchy bop number that surprisingly has not seen much of a life past this album.
Gillespie's heyday was in the '40s and '50s. He helped revolutionize jazz music with the creation of bebop and Afro-Cuban jazz. As demonstrated on this release, however, by the '80s his famous chops had significantly diminished. He does not play on all the tracks and when he does, his sound is frail and short-winded. The glue that holds the record together, though, is Perez, one of the most talented pianists in jazz, both in his own projects and in his work with the acclaimed Wayne Shorter Quartet.
I was first exposed to jazz when I was studying at the University of Puerto Rico. Nearby, I found a little record shop where the music coming from the store (Taller de Jazz Don Pedro) made me stop. I walked down the short stairs and towards the music and learned that the music playing was Clifford Brown and Max Roach
I was first exposed to jazz when I was studying at the University of Puerto Rico. Nearby, I found a little record shop where the music coming from the store (Taller de Jazz Don Pedro) made me stop. I walked down the short stairs and towards the music and learned that the music playing was Clifford Brown and Max Roach. I fell in love with it. I wondered around until the owner (Pedro Soto) asked if I needed help. He then introduced me to John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Gerry Mulligan and the rest is history. I walked out of the store with my first jazz recording: Clifford Brown and Max Roach at Basin Street.