Dizzy Gillespie – something legendary this weekend. Recorded live at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris on October 22, 1971 by Radio France. This is an all-star gathering, featuring Sonny Stitt on Alto, Kai Winding on Trombone, Thelonius Monk on Piano, Al McKibbon on Bass and none other than Art Blakey on drums.
Big chunks of this concert were issued on Lp a while back – this is the rest of the show; a good 41 minutes worth. And it’s a great concert, which explains why it was issued.
I don’t think you can be a fan of Jazz or a student of Jazz without knowing who Dizzy Gillespie was or being familiar with his inestimable contributions to the form. Widely acknowledged as one of the founding figures in Bop, going back to the Post-War years. His influence has been universal. Even if you don’t like Jazz, you knew who Dizzy Gillespie was. He is probably as much of a Pop-Culture icon as he was a pivotal figure in the evolution of Jazz. And because of his widespread popularity, he did much to promote the cause of Jazz to an audience not familiar, making the case for Bop to an audience unsure – spreading the message just about everywhere he went.
And putting Gillespie together with Monk and Blakey in the same room, you get a picture of the historic nature of this meeting and what each did to contribute to the changing face of a vital aspect of American Music.
If you’re just coming to Jazz, making your way around it and making discoveries, Dizzy Gillespie needs to be high on your list. He’s an essential figure to understand where things got started and what he did to be part of that evolution.
And where would we be without French Radio?
Crank it up and enjoy.