Dizzy Gillespie brings together tenor saxophonists Sonny Stitt and Sonny Rollins for four extended cuts, and in the process comes up with one of the most exciting "jam session" records in the jazz catalog. While the rhythm section of pianist Ray Bryant, bassist Tommy Bryant, and drummer Charlie Persip provides solid rhythmic support, Stitt and Rollins get down to business trading fours and reeling off solo fireworks. Apparently, Gillespie had stoked the competitive fires before the session with phone calls and some gossip, the fallout of which becomes palpable as the album progresses.
Dizrhythmia is the collective name adopted in the 1980s by Jakko Jakszyk (guitars, keyboards, vocals), Gavin Harrison (drums and percussion), Danny Thompson, (double bass) and Pandit Dinesh (percussion, vocals). The quartet released their first album in 1988. An eclectic mixture effortlessly blending jazz, rock, pop and elements drawn from Indian music, Dizrhythmia Too highlights the first-class playing expected from musicians of this calibre and showcases the unique chemistry that happens when they work together. Ex-Bruford keyboard legend, Dave Stewart also plays piano throughout the album.
This double CD collects all of the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band sides from 1946-1949 for the Bluebird and Musicraft labels, including seven previously unissued cuts. These bands were renowned for their hard-swinging styles that accented the toughness of bebop wailing R&B and Latin/Cuban grooves. Some of Diz's sidemen included Milt Jackson, Cecil Payne, Ray Brown, Willie Bobo, Yusef Lateef, Johnny Hartman, Leo Parker, John Lewis, Sonny Stitt, Kenny Dorham, James Moody, Ernie Henry, Al McKibbon, and dozens of others. Here are formidable versions of "Two Bass Hit," "Cubana Bop," "Jump Did-Le-Ba," "Oop-Pop-A-Da," and many others. In addition to the studio sides there is an entire Paris concert included from a radio transcription, making these sides indispensable. The only downside is the lack of liner notes – though full session notation is included.
Reece's style was so striking that it even impressed Miles Davis, who started to recommend him to anyone who would listen. Sonny Rollins was also a fan, and with these two titans propping Reece it was only a matter of time before Blue Note came calling. A month after his label debut, Blues in Trinity, came out in 1959 (it was recorded the previous year), Melody Maker announced triumphantly, "Trumpeter Dizzy Reece is the first British jazz star to be signed exclusively by an American record company."
For a short time in the late '50s trumpeter Dizzy Reece was an up-and-coming jazz artist. However, success eluded him and he quietly faded into obscurity, only occasionally releasing material after the early '60s. As a matter of fact, the sessions that became Comin' On! languished in the Blue Note vaults for almost four decades. Rediscovered in 1999, these dates feature six well-rounded hard bop compositions by Reece along with three standards. The tracks from April 3, 1960, not only document the Blue Note debut of tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine but also employ the talents of the Jazz Messengers' rhythm section of the time, pianist Bobby Timmons, bassist Jymie Merritt, and drummer Art Blakey. By July 17, 1960, the only musician remaining from the previous date was Turrentine, sharing tenor duties with Musa Kaleem, who is also heard on flute. (The later session's rhythm section had changed to pianist Duke Jordan, bassist Sam Jones, and drummer Al Harewood.) Neglected, although spirited, sessions from an underrated trumpeter and composer.
Jazz collectors can be an obsessive, detail-minded bunch, so when they acquire Vol. 2 of CAP's Dizzy in South America series, they're bound to be frustrated by the fact that the credits don't give any exact recording dates or let you know exactly where in South America each 1956 performance was recorded. As frustrating as that is, however, Vol. 2 is a CD that collectors and Dizzy Gillespie fans will be glad to get their hands on. No serious Gillespie aficionado could resist hearing previously unreleased live performances of "Tin Tin Deo," "The Champ," and "Groovin' High," especially when the sound quality is decent (by 1956 standards) and the band boasts such heavyweights as Phil Woods (alto sax), Benny Golson (tenor sax), Jimmy Powell (alto sax), Walter Davis, Jr. (piano), and the tour's musical director Quincy Jones (trumpet). Gillespie has many inspired moments on trumpet, and featured vocalist Austin Cromer provides some memorable crooning on "Because of You" and "Wonder Why".