Fill Out Your Jazz Collection
With One Of The Music's Originators.
At long last, we have obtained the rights to a cache of music by Dizzy Gillespie, much of it available for the first time on CD, and some for the first time anywhere. And fortunately, for the select group of jazz fans that will snap up this release, the music represents a time in Dizzy's career when he was peaking creatively.
These sessions document unequivocally why Dizzy Gillespie is still considered one of the greatest improvisers in the history of jazz, for his mastery of the instrument, his command of time, his control over musical ideas, and his ability to entertain. He was blessed during this period, which spans 1954 to 1963, with stellar sidemen, unparalleled arrangements, and a surge of excitement for making music.
The small group sessions are the focus of this set, and they contain a bounty of his fine soloing, outstanding arrangements, and deft support players. While he was already considered a veteran thanks to the importance of his innovations, The New Yorker's jazz critic assessed him again and declared that is was "playing with far more subtlety and invention than any time in his past."
In some of the settings, Gillespie shared powerful front line duty; others provided him with support for more solo-spot pyrotechnics. Among the musicians prominently featured are rising star (in 1954) on tenor, Hank Mobley, and the virtually unknown drummer Charlie Persip, who became Dizzy's backbone for close to five years.
As the Verve relationship continued, Gillespie continued to tinker and experiment, commissioning challenging charts from youngsters Benny Golson and Gigi Gryce (who also played alongside the trumpeter). And he continued to solo with coy, playful abandon, at times swarthy and grounded, at other times intense and ruminative, often sweet and sexy, always fiery and assertive, and ever able to locate on the spot notes you can't imagine he has found.
Among the recordings is a 1959 tour de force featuring pianist Junior Mance on "Willow Weep for Me." And an extraordinary guest spot from Johnny Hodges that pushed Gillespie to his own peak of imagination and power.
Perhaps the most astonishing revelation in the set is the work of Gillespie's 1963 quintet featuring James Moody on flute, alto and tenor saxophones; nineteen-year-old Kenny Barron on piano; Chris White on bass; and Rudy Collins on drums. Critics have ranked it second only to his classic 1945 quintet.
The seven CDs which comprise this boxed set showcase include much material that has never been available on CD. Eleven tracks have never been available ever.