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Birks Works: The Verve Big-Band Sessions

Dizzy Gillespie

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Album Review

Dizzy Gillespie's globetrotting big band of 1956-1957 was one of his finest groups, a very exciting orchestra that at various times had such players as trumpeters Gillespie, Joe Gordon, and Lee Morgan, trombonists Melba Liston and Al Grey, altoists Phil Woods and Ernie Henry, the tenors of Billy Mitchell, Ernie Wilkins, and Benny Golson, and pianists Walter Davis, Jr. and Wynton Kelly. With arrangements contributed by Quincy Jones (who was in the trumpet section), Wilkins, Liston, and Golson, this was a classic orchestra. Its three studio albums plus a few numbers previously issued only on samplers and nine previously unreleased performances (mostly alternate takes) are on this wonderful two-CD set. The high points are many, including "Dizzy's Business," "Jessica's Day," "The Champ," "Cool Breeze," "Birks Works," "Whisper Not," "Stablemates," and "I Remember Clifford." Essential music.

Customer Reviews

Fantastic

An essential date for any fan of Dizzy or the big band format. Superb, spirited playing.

Biography

Born: October 21, 1917 in Cheraw, SC

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Dizzy Gillespie's contributions to jazz were huge. One of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time (some would say the best), Gillespie was such a complex player that his contemporaries ended up copying Miles Davis and Fats Navarro instead, and it was not until Jon Faddis' emergence in the 1970s that Dizzy's style was successfully recreated. Somehow, Gillespie could make any "wrong" note fit, and harmonically he was ahead of everyone in the 1940s, including Charlie Parker. Unlike Bird, Dizzy was...
Full Bio

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