Dizzy Gillespie

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Along with Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie was one of the most influential movers in the postwar bebop revolution which gave jazz far wider harmonic horizons than were once thought possible. Dizzy remained ever after one of the leaders of jazz movements, inte­grating into the mainstream of jazz tradition a penchant for Afro-Cuban rhythms which lent a broad streak of exoticism to his work, especially his extended works for large orchestra.

John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie was born in Cheraw, SC October 21, 1917. His father was an amateur musician who taught him proficiency on several instruments. He started playing trombone at 14 and trumpet at 15. Diz won a scholarship to the Laurinburg Institute in North Carolina, where he studied harmony and theory until his family moved to Philadelphia in 1935.

The man who was known by the Forties for changing the definition of jazz was first known for being able to play like Roy Eldridge. He took Eldridge’s place in the Teddy Hill band early in 1937, and visited and that summer.

Dizzy Gillespie was one of three instrumental stars featured (along with Chu Berry and Cozy Cole) in Cab Calloway’s Band for two years, starting in 1939. During that time he cut over fifty sides on the Vocalion label. Gillespie’s playing was so good that other musicians tolerated an irreverent approach to performing. Dizzy might start dancing during other acts, wear his trumpet bowler on his head, or face his chair away from the audience and play in the direction of nowhere. Still, when Calloway decided that Dizzy had thrown spitballs at him during a per­formance, he was fired.

By now Gillespie’s style had developed some of the character later known as bop. He worked with the Ella Fitzgerald and Benny Goodman bands; toured with Charlie Barnet and Les Hite. By late 1944 Gillespie was playing with Billy Eckstine’s new big band and both Gillespie and the weird bop were becoming well known. After fronting a combo at the “Three Deuces” on 52nd in 1945, he toured with his own big band.

Sociologically, Gillespie will be remembered as the first jazz leader on whom the govern­ment bestowed official recognition (and money) by sponsoring a Gillespie tour of Pakistan, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Yugoslaviac and Greece. This innovation in diplomacy took place in 1956 and later in the same year the United States State Department once again capitalized on Gillespie’s hypnotic appeal to all audiences by spon­soring his tour of Latin America.

Benny Green, British jazz critic, said of Dizzy: “In recent years, he has worked almost exclusively with groups no larger than a quintet. His style is characterized by double-tempo runs designed to display a truly remarkable technique, a grasp of harmonic movement which can only be described as professorial, and a madcap streak of humor which sometimes manifests itself in eccentric scat vocals. The greatest testimony of all, however, to his vitality as a creative artist is that more than thirty years after the first recorded duets with Charlie Parker, he is still recognized everywhere that jazz is known, as a leading modern spirit.”

“What I want to do is extend everything I’ve done,” said Gillespie. “You know, when an architect builds a building and decides he wants to put on some new wings, it’s still the same building. He keeps on until it’s finished, and when he dies somebody else can take over.”

Dizzy Gillespie died on January 6, 1993.

Bio courtesy of Concord Music Group
Photo courtesy of The Verve Music Group


Dizzy's Diamonds

copertina album

CD album
UPC 00600753779101
Anno ricco di anniversari, questo 2017. Nel 1917 nasceva un genio creatore (insieme a Charlie Parker e un gruppo di agguerriti sperimentatori) del jazz moderno, il bebop. E poi, unendo le forze con musicisti afrocubani, pioniere e padre del latin jazz. Nonché sbalorditivo (per molti insuperato) virtuoso della tromba. E per finire, grande direttore di big band. Per festeggiare l’anniversario, ecco la riedizione (per il solo mercato italiano) di una delle più belle raccolte mai dedicate a Dizzy. Divisa in tre capitoli (capolavori per big band / piccoli gruppi, spesso con grandi ospiti / incisioni “latin”), corredato con un libretto di 32 pagine ricco di testi e foto (riprodotto dall’originale di 25 anni fa), oggi DIZZY’S DIAMONDS è uno splendido triplo digipack che riprende e rinnova la classica grafica dell’originale, a partire dall’inconfondibile copertina.
Con Kenny Barron, Benny Carter, Roy Eldridge, Stan Getz, Coleman Hawkins, Wynton Kelly, James Moody, Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Sonny Rollins…

Supporto 1
1 Prelude
05:54 Dizzy Gillespie
2 'Bout To Wail
06:42 Dizzy Gillespie, Orchestra
3 Umbrella Man
03:02 Dizzy Gillespie
4 The Chains
09:04 Dizzy Gillespie, Lalo Schifrin
5 Birks' Works
04:55 Dizzy Gillespie
6 Stella By Starlight
04:05 Dizzy Gillespie
7 Dizzy's Business
03:36 Dizzy Gillespie
8 Autumn Leaves
03:09 Dizzy Gillespie
9 Dizzy's Blues
11:51 Dizzy Gillespie
10 Flamingo
03:53 Dizzy Gillespie
11 Jordu
04:12 Dizzy Gillespie
12 Evening Sound
04:44 Dizzy Gillespie
13 Take The "A" Train
06:39 Dizzy Gillespie
Supporto 2
1 Blue 'N Boogie
11:49 Dizzy Gillespie
2 Bonnie's Blues
03:58 Dizzy Gillespie
3 Ool Ya Koo
05:38 Dizzy Gillespie
4 Blues After Dark
06:25 Dizzy Gillespie Octet
5 The Heat's On
06:33 Dizzy Gillespie, Roy Eldridge
6 Leap Frog
02:29 Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie
7 Where's Adam?
03:37 Dizzy Gillespie
8 There's No Greater Love
03:23 Dizzy Gillespie
9 Just One Of Those Things
06:09 Dizzy Gillespie
10 I Know That You Know
05:27 Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Stitt, Sonny Rollins
11 Swing Low Sweet Cadillac
07:03 Dizzy Gillespie
12 Dizzy Atmosphere
06:12 Dizzy Gillespie
Supporto 3
1 Manteca
06:24 Dizzy Gillespie
2 Fiesta Mojo
03:49 Dizzy Gillespie
3 A Night In Tunisia
04:15 Dizzy Gillespie
4 And Then She Stopped
03:15 Dizzy Gillespie
5 Tin Tin Deo
04:15 Dizzy Gillespie
6 Desafinado
03:26 Dizzy Gillespie
7 Africana
07:34 Dizzy Gillespie
8 Pergunte Ao Joao (Ask John)
02:43 Dizzy Gillespie
9 Caravan
05:18 Dizzy Gillespie & His Orchestra
10 This Lovely Feeling
03:01 Dizzy Gillespie
11 Ungawa
03:19 Dizzy Gillespie
12 Begin The Beguine
04:52 Dizzy Gillespie
13 Con Alma
09:26 Dizzy Gillespie
14 Rio Pakistan
11:31 Stuff Smith, Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Peterson
15 Jambo
04:56 Dizzy Gillespie


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