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)

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Personnel:
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

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Tracklist:
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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Dizzy Gillespie & Charlie Parker – Town Hall NYC, June 22, 1945 (2005)

FrontCover1The historic live Town Hall sessions by Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker from 1945 have been discovered on an acetate pressing, and are transferred with digital enhancement to CD. Why this concert was not issued initially is understandable, but Ira Gitler’s informative and insightful liner notes suggest they likely were misplaced. What Gitler’s essential writing also reveals is that these dates were approximate by only weeks to the original studio recordings of these classics, and there was no small amount of controversy surrounding this revolutionary bebop. Clearly bop was a vehicle for intricate melodic invention followed by lengthy soloing, aspects of which Parker with Gillespie were perfectly suited for. Fact is, the situation surrounding the sonic capture and extended neglected shelf life of this performance was far from optimal.

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Symphony Sid Torin is the M.C., rambling as always, making repeated references to Dizzy “Jillespie” and misidentifying Max Roach as Sid Catlett on “Salt Peanuts.” (Catlett does sit in on “Hot House” in a more supportive than demonstrative role.) The tracks with the brilliant Roach are on fire, particularly the super-hot “Salt Peanuts,” with pianist Al Haig flying beside him. Haig is perhaps the most impressive musician. The rhythm section, especially Haig, is more present in the mix and up front, while the trumpet and alto sax are buried. As the concert progresses, it gets better, with Gillespie’s muted trumpet clearer. Parker lays back on the mike, but not in spirit or bravado for “Interlude,” which is now known as “A Night in Tunisia,” and better balanced during “Groovin’ High,” which was originally titled “Whispering.”

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There seems to be an unplanned slight key chance in the bridge of “Groovin’ High.” A late-arriving Parker was in part replaced by tenor saxophonist Don Byas, who sounds terrific on the opener, “Bebop,” until Parker steps on-stage and ups the ante. At under 41 minutes in length, this can be looked upon as a historical document, likely appealing only to completists. But the overriding factor of previously undiscovered Diz and Bird makes the CD something all bebop fans should readily embrace, despite its audio deficiencies. (Michael G. Nastos)

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Personnel:
Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet)
Al Haig (piano)
Charlie Parker (saxophone)
Max Roach (drums)
Curley Russell (bass)
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Don Byas (saxophone on 01.)
Sidney Catlett (drums on 05. + 06.)

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Tracklist:
01. Intro 1.20
02-  Bebop (Gillespie) 7.11
03. A Night In Tunisia (Gillespie/Paparelli) 7.34
04. Groovin’ High (Gillespie) 7.16
05. Salt Peanuts (Clarke/Gillespie) 7.52
06. Hot House (Dameron) 7.14
07. Fifty Second Street Theme (Monk) 2.14

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John Coltrane & Dizzy Gillespie – Trane’s First Ride 1951 (2013)

FrontCover1Here’s another slice of jazz history.

Thanks to u014945 who uploaded the tracks; and to ShaReeF who shared them at HungerCity.

Uploader’s notes:

Typical of many jazz bootleg LPs, this one contains no dates nor any information beyond song titles and the year of 1951 (despite having a long liner essay by one “E.S.Spoe”). After a good Birdlandbit of research (and matching some of it with my recollections from countless hours of listening to the pedantic, yet informative Phil Schaap on Bird Flight here in New York City weekday mornings on WKCR), I have come up with the following probable list of dates and line-ups.

The venue is always Birldand.

Recorded live at Birdland, NY. Very good radio broadcasts. Ripped from vinyl, slight crackling noises and hiss.
Tracks 01, 02, 03 – January 6, 1951

Tracks 04, 06, 08 – February 3, 1951
Track 05 – January 13, 1951
Track 07 – March 17, 1951

Personnel:
Art Blakey (drums)
John Coltrane (saxophone)
Carl “Kansas” Fields (drums on 07.)
Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet)
Percey Heath (bass)
Milt Jackson (vibraphone)
JJ Johnson (trombone on 04., 06. + 08.)
John Lewis (piano on 07.)
Billy Taylor (piano)

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Tracklist:
01. Congo Blues (Norvo) 3.06
02. Night in Tunisia (Gillespie/Paparelli) 6.24
03. Yesterdays (Harbach/Kern) 3.06
04. Birk’s Works (Gillespie) 4.50
05. Good Bait (Dameron) 3.33
06. I Can’t Get Started (Gillespie) 2.53
07. Birk’s Works (Air Check 2) (Gillespie) 5.16
08. Jumping With Symphony Sid (Young) 302

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