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The Great Blue Star Sessions

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This double-disc set containing the complete Blue Star sessions by Dizzy Gillespie is so named for the small imprint they were available on, which is now owned by Universal. All but five of these cuts appeared first as 78s featuring the great trumpeter and personality in front of a combined French jazz and opera orchestra arranged and conducted alternately by Daniel White, Jo Boyer, and a very young Michel Legrand. The vast majority of these tracks were recorded in the legendary Théâtre de Champs-Élysées in Paris, with the final seven cuts having been recorded at Studio Pathé Magellan. Gillespie is the prime soloist as trumpeter, and in three cases (disc one track four ["Sabla y Blu"] and disc two tracks 12 ["Jalousie"] and 15 ["I Got You Under My Skin"]) as vocalist. His regular bands featured either drummer Al Jones or Bill Clark, bassists Lou Hackney or Joe Benjamin, and pianists Arnold Ross, Art Simmons, or Wade Legge, and included the great Don Byas on tenor saxophone. This quintet was backed by a large horn and string orchestra. The material was recorded exceptionally well and moves from swing to hard flashy bebop almost effortlessly; Gillespie and Byas are excellent throughout. This is a fairly pricey collection, so it's not for the casual fan, but anyone who knows of these recordings on any level understands what a key place they hold on Dizzy's shelf as he transitioned from the bebop of the 1940s into the hard bopping, big-group wailing of the 1950s. Highly recommended.


Geboren: 21. Oktober 1917 in Cheraw, SC

Genre: Jazz

Jahre aktiv: '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...
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