DIZZY GILLESPIE — Gettin' Dizzy: The High Flying Dizzy Gillespie (review)

DIZZY GILLESPIE — Gettin' Dizzy: The High Flying Dizzy Gillespie album cover Boxset / Compilation · 2005 · Bop Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
js
“Gettin’ Dizzy, the High Flying Dizzy Gillespie” is a compilation of material recorded during his career peak (1945-1952) while he was with the Savoy label. Apparently this is considered a good compilation, but not the most comprehensive from that period. In defense of this fine CD though, I’d like to point out that this a very well put together collection of tunes that would make a great introduction to jazz for novices.

There are basically three ways to order the songs on a CD compilation; you can put them in historical order by year to show an artists development, or you can just throw them together with no set plan like so many thoughtless compilations, or lastly, you can put them in an appealing order like a radio show with good variety and a nice flow from one song to the next. On “Gettin Dizzy” they opt for the third option and make this CD flow like an excellent well planned classic radio special. It helps that Dizzy’s music has so much variety during this period. This CD offers a good mix of bop, big band bop, swing, female vocals, proto Afro Cuban jazz and even some pop with strings. Its hard to believe that this is all from one artist as it actually sounds like a snapshot of the entire jazz world during this period. Of course Dizzy’s playing during this time is just incredible.

To the serious jazz fan this CD probably has a few too many over played standards, but to someone new to jazz, this CD makes an excellent introduction. The tunes on here are short and snappy and they all have a nice variety in ensemble sounds that helps prevent “jazz combo fatigue”. The presence of well known tunes like “Salt Peanuts”, “Lover Man”, “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” and others helps make the music more familiar.
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