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Dizzy for President

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Album Review

Before his 1963 performance at the Newport Jazz Festival, Dizzy Gillespie had already been actively involved in the influential project. As one of the first performers approached for the original 1957 lineup, Dizzy became a staple in the years to come. This set consists of eight uptempo, Latin and blues influenced jam sessions. "Dizzy Atmosphere," "Morning of the Carnival," "Desafinado," "Gee Baby Ain't I Good to You" are all highlights of this thoroughly exuberant set. James Moody, who alternates between tenor and alto saxophone and flute, provides smoking solos throughout. Moody had recently rejoined Dizzy, having previously been a member his orchestra in the '40s. Hired at Moody's request was 20-year-old pianist Kenny Barron, who was also beginning an important stint with Gillespie. Bassist Chris White and drummer Rudy Collins rounded out the rhythm section. Vocalist Jon Hendricks makes a guest appearance on the rowdy set finale "Vote Dizzy (Salt Peanuts) as Gillespie was in the midst of his famed presidential campaign. As a bonus, this torrid set also includes Dizzy's relaxed witticisms intact at a time when more than hints of racial tension permeated the air of our nation.


Born: 21 October 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...
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