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Dizzy Gillespie

The Mooche was written by Duke Ellington in 1928 for the trumpeter Bubber Miley. In his long version, performed in Stuttgart, Dizzy Gillespie explores it at length. Lalo Schifrin’s piano solo uses block chords to further heighten the dramatic intensity of this soul remake. Schifrin had had doubts in 1960 whether Dizzy even wanted him in his band; he could never get hold of him by telephone and almost returned home to Buenos Aires. “I’ve had many mentors in my life, but only one master – Dizzy,” Schifrin explained. “Dizzy is always hungry for new musical food. Calypso today, bossa nova yesterday, tomorrow – who knows?“ The trumpeter loved the open form above an Afro-Cuban rhythm, such as in Con Alma, the number he had composed back in 1956. He engaged the versatile saxophonist and flautist Leo Wright after a sensational concert at the Monterey Festival. Willow Weep For Me provides a reminder of his enormous talent on flute. Dizzy’s hipster contribution is Oops-Shoo-Be-Do-Be, a humorous pastiche on scat, from which Dizzy launches his solo like a fountain gushing skywards. In I Can’t Get Started he throws in quotes and saunters through the upper registers as if it were child’s play. The Frankfurt versions of Kush and Con Alma demonstrate how the Quintet is able to inject new life even into these familiar themes. The manner in which a muted Dizzy, without piano accompaniment, dances with bass (Bob Cunningham) and drums (Mel Lewis) in Kush remains an audio adventure even today. 

Catalogue No.: 101711

1The Mooche
2Con Alma
3Willow Weep For Me
5I Can't Get Started
7Con Alma (Alternate -Take)

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