This single CD reissues all of the music from two rare Dizzy Gillespie LPs. Dating from 1963-64, the set features the trumpeter's interpretation of the score of the obscure film The Cool World (although these are not the actual performances heard in the movie) plus 11 themes from other films. Gillespie, who is joined by James Moody (on tenor, alto and flute), pianist Kenny Barron, bassist Chris White and drummer Rudy Collins, was in peak form during that era and hopefully all of his other Philips recordings will also be reissued by Verve in the future. Although the liner notes deal only with The Cool World, the other set is actually of greater interest. Gillespie uplifts such tunes as the "Theme from Exodus," "Moon River," "Days of Wine and Roses," "Never on Sunday" and "Walk on the Wild Side," turning them into swinging jazz. The Cool World pieces (all composed by Mal Waldron) are also worth hearing although they are not as memorable overall. This set is a real historical curiosity and, although not essential, it is a release that should please Dizzy Gillespie fans while reminding others of how great a trumpeter he was before his long decline.
This edition presents, for the first time ever on CD, Dizzy Gillespie's complete performance at the 1961 Monterey Jazz Festival. While humorously introduced by Diz as “A Musical Safari”, the set is a mixture of the repertoire the quintet was playing during that period, including an excursion into the realm of bossa nova. The quintet features the wonderful Leo Wright and Argentinean pianist Lalo Schifrin, as well as singer Joe Carroll on one track.
These sessions document unequivocally why Dizzy Gillespie is still considered one of the greatest improvisers in the history of jazz, for his mastery of the instrument, his command of time, his control over musical ideas, and his ability to entertain. He was blessed during this period, which spans 1954 to 1963, with stellar sidemen, unparalleled arrangements, and a surge of excitement for making music.
The first DVD of Ralph Gleason's Jazz Casual TV series combines three separate 30-minute programs previously available individually as videos; obviously this is the better way to acquire them, both financially and from a preservation standpoint. Count Basie's appearance is a bit unusual. Gleason parks himself next to the piano following the opening number and remains there throughout the show, making Basie seem nervous and rather uncomfortable with his host during the interview excerpts and rarely, if ever, looking Gleason in the eye while talking to him.
Gary Keys' 1986 film capturing Dizzy Gillespie and band live in Redondo Beach, CA. The trumpeter/bandleader is in great form, leading his crack band through classics from various parts of his career. Filmed in Gary Keys signature style, with lots of closeups of the players, capturing all of the impish comedy and good times of the elder statesman of jazz.
The collaborations of went back to the early 1960s when the young Argentinian played piano in Gillespie's quintet. Schifrin's Gillespiana, a suite written for Gillespie and a big band, became one of the best known works of the era and its section called "Blues" a milestone in Schifrin's career. In 1977, Schifrin was established as a successful composer for television and movies but had maintained close ties with his former employer, who asked him to write the music that became Free Ride. The emphasis was on the funky pop side of jazz soul music. The electronic instruments included a synthesizer and the guitar of the appropriately nicknamed . Also on hand among the backup musicians were and other stalwarts of the Los Angeles studio scene.