Sunday, January 24, 2010

Dizzy GILLESPIE - Dizzy's Big 4 1975

Dizzy GILLESPIE - Dizzy's Big 4 1975


Dizzy Gillespie omits a piano on these 1974 sessions, but it is never missed due to the potent rhythm section supplied by guitarist Joe Pass, bassist Ray Brown, and drummer Mickey Roker. Starting with the inspired, occasionally funky Latin-flavored "Frelimo" (which features the leader on both muted and open trumpet), Gillespie is in top form. His deliberate treatment of the forgotten chestnut "Hurry Home" is a lyrical gem, while the breezy setting of the standard "Russian Lullaby" bubbles with excitement. But the fireworks take place in the rapid-fire performance of Gillespie's "Be Bop (Dizzy's Fingers)," in which Pass seems to play at an impossible tempo. Just as much fun is the sassy, intricate interpretation of the trumpeter's blues "Birk's Works," powered by Brown's potent bass, along with the hip updated treatment of Fats Waller's "Jitterbug Waltz." This is easily one of Dizzy Gillespie's best small-group recordings from the latter portion of his career. 
In the autumnal phase of his recording career, Dizzy Gillespie was reunited with Jazz At The Philharmonic producer Norman Granz for a series of finely crafted recordings on his Pablo label (so named because Granz financed the label by selling off some of his valuable Picassos).
By Ken Dryden. AMG.
These later recordings are often mistakenly undervalued by critics, despite their superb production values, dynamic acoustic sound, and generally provocative mix of players and musical materials. DIZZY'S BIG 4 is one of the very best, featuring a dream team rhythm section that responds to all of Gillespie's virtuoso challenges, and then some. Ray Brown is one of the all-time greats, who startled the jazz world when he first emerged as Dizzy's bassist while still in his teens; drummer Mickey Roker is a commanding percussionist and long-time Gillespie collaborator, while guitarist Joe Pass is a stellar virtuoso, with a series of excellent recitals of his own on Pablo.

Gillespie is in a particularly puckish mood on these sessions. Where the youthful Gillespie might have ordinarily opted for more of the bravura pyrotechnics, represented herein by the relentlessly uptempo changes of "Be Bop (Dizzy's Fingers)," DIZZY'S BIG 4 is distinguished by the ballads "Hurry Home," "Russian Lullaby" and "September Song." Here the trumpeter's rich timbral shadings plumb deep new meaning from these familiar melodies. Most impressive is Dizzy's depth and range as a blues player, which further enlivens his improvisations on Fats Waller's "Jitterbug Waltz," his own latin styled funk on "Frelimo" and the hard bopping "Birks Works."
From CD Universe.
Dizzy Gillespie- Trumpet
Joe Pass- Guitar
Ray Brown- Bass
Mickey Roker- Drums
A1. Frelimo 8:06 
       Written-By - Dizzy Gillespie 
A2. Hurry Home 6:20 
       Written By - Meyer/Emmerich/Bernier  
A3. Russian Lullaby 6:46 
       Written-By - I. Berlin* 
B1. Be Bop (Dizzy's Fingers) 4:26 
       Written-By - Dizzy Gillespie 
B2. Birks Works 8:48 
       Written-By - Dizzy Gillespie 
B3. September Song 2:45 
       Written By - M. Anderson/K. Weill 
B4. Jitterbug Waltz 6:49 
       Written-By - Fats Waller 

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