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Dizzy's Diamonds: The Best of the Verve Years

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Album Review

Many of trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie's recordings for the Verve label in the '50s and early '60s show him at the peak of his powers. This three-CD set is a sampler of his legacy, with the discs subtitled "Big Band," "Small Groups & Guests" and "In an Afro Cuban, Bossa Nova, Calypso Groove." The programming jumps all over the place and makes little sense but this set serves as a good excuse to acquire 40 performances by the great Gillespie and the many all-stars who recorded with him. Few but the most fanatical veteran Gillespie fans will have all of these selections. This collection filled a void until Verve got around to doing a much more comprehensive Dizzy Gillespie reissue program.


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...
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