Saturday, October 21, 2017

Birks' Day: Diz 100

OK, this was delayed by a police visit to the house -- roommate incident -- and my back going out, so forgive the late hour of this. I'll try to make this as good as I can given the pain.
Obviously if I need to tell you who Dizzy Gillespie is, you should just step away from the keyboard immediately. But you may not know he would have turned 100 today.
Odd that Buddy Rich was born 11 days before Thelonious Monk, and Monk 11 days before Diz. Great players are born close together, I guess.
One of the all-time architects of Bebop specifically and American music in general, there are no words to adequately assess what he means.
He died almost 25 years ago, but all over the web this afternoon I see homage after homage, and that's both a testimony to his gravitas and as it should be.
Teacher, bandleader, Jazz Ambassador to the world. There isn't any overstating John Birks Gillespie, and there never will be.
To celebrate this most auspicious centenary event, I have a quite delicious and pristinely rendered pair of mp4 files, documenting Dizzy's appearance at the 1971 Kongsberg Jazz Festival in Norway. The first one is the rehearsal and a fantastic fly-on-the-wall document of galaxy-class musicians doing their due diligence. The second is an hourlong set in front of a rapt audience.
Dizzy Gillespie
Kongsberg Jazzfestival
Kongsberg, Norway 
probably 6.27.1971

mp4 #1
01 rehearsal incl. Manteca

mp4 #2
01 Tour de Force
02 Con Alma
03 Brother K
04 Fiesta Mojo
05 One Bass Hit
06 Tangerine
07 Tanga

Total time: 1:37:45

Dizzy Gillespie - trumpet, conductor 
Jan Garbarek, Calle Neumann, Harald Bergersen, Bjørn Johansen, Helge Hurum - reeds
Frode Thingnæs + 3 unknown - trombones
Bernt Steen, Finn Eriksen + 2 unknown - trumpets
Svein Chrico Christiansen - drums
Roy Hellvin - piano
Arild Andersen (rehearsal), Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen (concert) - bass

two HD mp4 files captured from NRK web rebroadcasts, originally broadcast 4.27 and 5.3.1972
1.65 GB mp4 here
I apologize in advance for the brevity of this screed but I can barely sit without screaming in agony so it will hafta do. I shall return with the promised 4-year anniversary post for this lovely little page soon, in fact as soon as my hips don't feel like someone is stabbing them with knitting needles dipped in salt. But right now let's have you pull down this rare and vintage footage of a true and legendary master in full flight, OK? Born this day in 1917, never to be forgotten even for a moment.--J.
10.21.1917 - 1.6.1993