dizzy gillespie


  • One of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time, Gillespie was such a complex player that his contemporaries ended up being similar to those of Miles Davis and Fats Navarro
    instead, and it was not until Jon Faddis’s emergence in the 1970s that Dizzy’s style was successfully recreated [….] Gillespie is remembered, by both critics and fans alike, as one of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time”.

  • Two years later I read that that was ‘bop’ and the beginning of modern jazz … but the band never made recordings.

  • [28][29] During this time, he also continued to lead a big band that performed throughout the United States and featured musicians including Pee Wee Moore and others.

  • [73] He was honored on December 31, 2006 in A Jazz New Year’s Eve: Freddy Cole & the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

  • “A Night in Tunisia”, written in 1942, while he was playing with Earl Hines’ band, is noted for having a feature that is common in today’s music: a syncopated bass line.

  • [27] On January 6, 1953, he threw a party for his wife Lorraine at Snookie’s, a club in Manhattan, where his trumpet’s bell got bent upward in an accident, but he liked the
    sound so much he had a special trumpet made with a 45 degree raised bell, becoming his trademark.

  • A concert by one of his small groups in New York’s Town Hall on June 22, 1945 presented bebop to a broad audience; recordings of it were released in 2005.

  • He and his big bands, with arrangements provided by Tadd Dameron, Gil Fuller, and George Russell, popularized bebop and made him a symbol of the new music.

  • In 1956 Gillespie organized a band to go on a State Department tour of the Middle East which was well-received internationally and earned him the nickname “the Ambassador
    of Jazz”.

  • [22] Gillespie performing in 1955 After his work with Parker, Gillespie led other small combos (including ones with Milt Jackson, John Coltrane, Lalo Schifrin, Ray Brown,
    Kenny Clarke, James Moody, J.J. Johnson, and Yusef Lateef) and put together his successful big bands starting in 1947.

  • [2] In the 1940s, Gillespie, with Charlie Parker, became a major figure in the development of bebop and modern jazz.

  • Gillespie sent a request to Martin to make him a “bent” trumpet from a sketch produced by Lorraine, and from that time forward played a trumpet with an upturned bell.

  • [13][14] Gillespie’s first professional job was with the Frank Fairfax Orchestra in 1935, after which he joined the respective orchestras of Edgar Hayes and later Teddy Hill,
    replacing Frankie Newton as second trumpet in May 1937.

  • Rise of bebop[edit] Gillespie with John Lewis, Cecil Payne, Miles Davis, and Ray Brown, between 1946 and 1948 Bebop was known as the first modern jazz style.

  • According to Gillespie’s autobiography, this was originally the result of accidental damage caused by the dancers Stump and Stumpy falling onto the instrument while it was
    on a trumpet stand on stage at Snookie’s in Manhattan on January 6, 1953, during a birthday party for Gillespie’s wife Lorraine.

  • Gillespie started to play the piano at the age of four.

  • [47] Shortly after the death of Charlie Parker, Gillespie encountered an audience member after a show.

  • Teddy Hill’s band was where Gillespie made his first recording, “King Porter Stomp”.

  • Dizzy Gillespie and his Bebop Six, which included Parker, started an extended gig at Billy Berg’s club in Los Angeles in December 1945.

  • [16] During his time in Calloway’s band, Gillespie started writing big band music for Woody Herman and Jimmy Dorsey.

  • [32] Final years[edit] Gillespie holding memoir To Be or Not to Bop published in 1979 In the 1980s, Gillespie led the United Nations Orchestra.

  • In 1945, Gillespie left Eckstine’s band because he wanted to play with a small combo.

  • In August 1937 while gigging with Hayes in Washington D.C., Gillespie met a young dancer named Lorraine Willis who worked a Baltimore–Philadelphia–New York City circuit which
    included the Apollo Theater.

  • Campaign buttons had been manufactured years before by Gillespie’s booking agency as a joke[42] but proceeds went to Congress of Racial Equality, Southern Christian Leadership
    Conference and Martin Luther King Jr.;[43] in later years they became a collector’s item.

  • He took in all the music of his youth—from Roy Eldridge to Duke Ellington—and developed a unique style built on complex rhythm and harmony balanced by wit.

  • Afro-Cuban jazz[edit] In the late 1940s, Gillespie was involved in the movement called Afro-Cuban music, bringing Afro-Latin American music and elements to greater prominence
    in jazz and even pop music, particularly salsa.

  • The next year, at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts ceremonies celebrating the centennial of American jazz, Gillespie received the Kennedy Center Honors Award and
    the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers Duke Ellington Award for 50 years of achievement as a composer, performer, and bandleader.

  • According to Jones, Calloway referred to it as “Chinese music”.

  • Gillespie also worked with Mario Bauza in New York jazz clubs on 52nd Street and several famous dance clubs such as the Palladium and the Apollo Theater in Harlem.

  • [75] In popular culture[edit] Samuel E. Wright played Dizzy Gillespie in the film Bird (1988), about Charlie Parker.

  • The film is a crime drama about a jazz pianist who falls for a dangerous woman while in Portugal with an American expatriate’s jazz band.

  • [21] “Woody ‘n’ You” was recorded in a session led by Coleman Hawkins with Gillespie as a featured sideman on February 16, 1944 (Apollo), the first formal recording of bebop.

  • In December 1986 Gillespie gave the National Museum of American History his 1972 King “Silver Flair” trumpet with a Cass mouthpiece.

  • I first learned the significance of rhythm there and all about how music can transport people spiritually.

  • The music evolved from what went before.

  • [19] Gillespie said of the Hines band, “[p]eople talk about the Hines band being ‘the incubator of bop’ and the leading exponents of that music ended up in the Hines band.

  • Afro-Cuban jazz was successful because it never decreased in popularity and it always attracted people to dance.

  • Each musician gave tribute to their friend, this great soul and innovator in the world of jazz.

  • He performed one more night but cancelled the rest of the tour for medical reasons, ending his 56-year touring career.

  • [50] The Rough Guide to Jazz describes his musical style: The whole essence of a Gillespie solo was cliff-hanging suspense: the phrases and the angle of the approach were
    perpetually varied, breakneck runs were followed by pauses, by huge interval leaps, by long, immensely high notes, by slurs and smears and bluesy phrases; he always took listeners by surprise, always shocking them with a new thought.

  • [15] Gillespie stayed with Teddy Hill’s band for a year, then left and freelanced with other bands.

  • In 1943 I heard the great Earl Hines band which had Bird in it and all those other great musicians.

  • This band recorded a live album at the 1957 Newport jazz festival that featured Mary Lou Williams as a guest artist on piano.

  • “[20] Gillespie joined the big band of Hines’ long-time collaborator Billy Eckstine, and it was as a member of Eckstine’s band that he was reunited with Charlie Parker, a
    fellow member.

  • [9] His father was a local bandleader,[10] so instruments were made available to the children.

  • He started to organize big bands in late 1945.

  • Gillespie’s magnificent sense of time and emotional intensity of his playing came from childhood roots.

  • They played together in the Chick Webb band and Cab Calloway’s band, where Gillespie and Bauza became lifelong friends.

  • All the musicians respected him because, in addition to outplaying everyone, he knew so much and was so generous with that knowledge…[60] Bent trumpet[edit] Gillespie performs
    with his bent trumpet in 1988.


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Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nahidv/13910479407/’]