Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band – I’m BeBoppin’ Too (2009)

FrontCover1Dr. John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie (/ɡɪˈlɛspi/; October 21, 1917 – January 6, 1993) was an American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, composer, educator and singer. He was a trumpet virtuoso and improviser, building on the virtuoso style of Roy Eldridge but adding layers of harmonic and rhythmic complexity previously unheard in jazz. His combination of musicianship, showmanship, and wit made him a leading popularizer of the new music called bebop. His beret and horn-rimmed spectacles, his scat singing, his bent horn, pouched cheeks, and his light-hearted personality provided some of bebop’s most prominent symbols.

In the 1940s Gillespie, with Charlie Parker, became a major figure in the development of bebop and modern jazz. He taught and influenced many other musicians, including trumpeters Miles Davis, Jon Faddis, Fats Navarro, Clifford Brown, Arturo Sandoval, Lee Morgan, Chuck Mangione, and balladeer Johnny Hartman.

Scott Yanow wrote, “Dizzy Gillespie’s contributions to jazz were huge. One of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time, Gillespie was such a complex player that his contemporaries ended up being similar to those of Miles Davis and Fats Navarro instead, and it was not until Jon Faddis’s emergence in the 1970s that Dizzy’s style was successfully recreated [….] Arguably Gillespie is remembered, by both critics and fans alike, as one of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time” (by wikipedia)

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And here´s the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band … a tribute band !

Tribute bands are often bland affairs, because they become too predictable, while often omitting any artists who played with the deceased artist. Fortunately, this third CD by the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band mixes veterans who worked with the trumpeter and talented younger players who acquit themselves very well. Trombonist Slide Hampton contributed a fresh chart of Dizzy’s “Manteca” that is a bit more introspective and less percussive and shouting, with potent solos by pianist Cyrus Chestnut.

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Tenor saxophonist Jimmy Heath scored the subtle, hip treatment of Kenny Dorham’s “Una Mas,” showcasing alto saxophonist Mark Gross, trombonist Douglas Purviance, and baritonist Gary Smulyan. Vocalist Roberta Gambarini’s solid performance of “‘Round Midnight” (and Hampton’s fresh arrangement) trump those who claim that this landmark Thelonious Monk composition is recorded all too often; there is always room for a top-notch recording such as this one. Gambarini also guests in Heath’s setting of Tadd Dameron’s bittersweet ballad “If You Could Seem Me Now” and Hampton’s snappy setting of “Lover, Come Back to Me.” Nor should the brass players be overlooked: Roy Hargrove’s lush playing in “I Can’t Get Started,” plus his comic vocal in the jive piece “I’m BeBoppin’ Too,” are complemented by Greg Gisbert’s searing trumpet and Michael Dease’s brief, effective trombone solo. Recommended. (by Ken Dryden)


Cyrus Chestnut (piano)
Steve Davis (trombone)
Michael Dease (trombone)
Roberta Gambarini (vocals)
Greg Gisbert (trumpet)
Frank Greene (trumpet)
Mark Gross (saxophone, flute)
Roy Hargrove (trumpet, vocals)
Antonio Hart (saxophone)
Jimmy Heath (saxophone)
Jason Jackson (trombone)
John Lee (bass)
James Moody (saxophone, flute, vocals)
Lewis Nash (drums)
Doug Purviance (bass trombone)
Claudio Roditi (trumpet)
Gary Smulyan (saxophone)

Music Director: Slide Hampton


01. I’m Beboppin’ Too (L.Gillespie) 2.37
02. Cool Breeze (Dameron/Eckstine/D.Gillespie) 5.09
03. ‘Round Midnight (Monk) 7.37
04. Manteca (D.Gillespie/Pozo) 5.39
05. Birks’ Works (D.Gillespie) 4.52
06. If You Could See Me Now (Dameron/Sigman) 7.12
07. Dizzy’s Blues (Salim) 4.38
08. Una Mas (Dorham) 7.45
09. I Can’t Get Started (Duke/Gershwin) 6.01
10. One Bass Hit (Bropwn/D.Gillespie) 4.56
11. Tin Tin Deo (Fuller(D.Gillespie/Pozo) 6.19
12. Lover Come Back To Me (Hammerstein II/Romberg) 5.31



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