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School Days

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Album Review

An old recording from 1951, this album has been re-released on Columbia from the old Savoy/Regent recordings. The blowing is insane in spots — in "Pop's Confessin," Dizzy tries to hit the loudest, highest, longest note possible (à la Roy Eldridge). Joe Carroll provides some humor in his vocal work (often performing in duet with Dizzy). Milt Jackson actually goes without his vibes here, singing and playing piano. A young John Coltrane solos on “We Love to Boogie,” which was one of his first appearances on record. According to the original liner notes, other performers on the album are "probably" Bill Graham on baritone sax, Wynton Kelly on piano, Percy Heath on bass, and Al Jones, Kansas Fields, or Joe Hanes on drums. The interplay among trumpet, piano, and Joe Carroll's vocals is some of the best you'll hear from this time period (it gets even better in a couple years, but this is still outstanding). "Lady Be Good" is a tour de force for Carroll, and "School Days" starts to sound a lot like the blues-shouting R&B of the day. For any fan of Dizzy, and the bop of the day, this is a worthwhile investment in listening pleasure. The trumpet is good, the vocals are good, the humor is good. You can barely miss with this one.


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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