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Review

Trumps from an all-time great

A dizzy selection of be-bop,
Latin jazz, scat on
the trumpet and vocals

Ultimate Dizzy Gillespie
Selected by Roy Hargrove

Polygram
Rs 125

If I were asked to choose one number from this album that justifies its title, I'd pick Bloomdido. Composed by Charlie Parker, it was an ideal vehicle for Parker and Gillespie's new jazz style of be-bop. In just over three minutes, with solos in turn from Parker's alto sax, Gillespie's trumpet and Thelonious Monk's piano, the recording tells you everything you wanted to know about bop.

But Roy Hargrove, a post-bop trumpeter steeped in the tradition of modern jazz from the time of bop, can't be faulted on any of his selections. The album is peppered with great rapid-fire solos from Dizzy.

In the opening piece, his famous Birk's works, he sets them in a big band setting. In Sometimes I'm happy, he slugs it out with another trumpeter. In Wee he splits his solos with an alto saxophonist. In I remember Clifford, a moving ballad, he still manages some typical be-bop note changes. In the humorous Ool ya koo, he rests his instrument to show us what a wonderful scat singer he was, his voice doing with nonsense syllables whatever his trumpet could. On The umbrella man, also light-hearted, Dizzy mixes brief trumpet interludes with gentle non-scat singing.

Fittingly, the selection also includes some Latin jazz numbers closely associated with Gillespie, a pioneer of this first ``fusion'' style in the '50s. Con alma features trumpet, tenor sax and piano solos, the first two be-boppish and the last quietly relaxed. In Fiesta mo-jo, the trumpet and piano solos are both relaxed. No more blues has a series of boppish solos from trumpet, alto sax, baritone sax and piano combining with soft Latin percussion to conjure up images of Rio.

Duke Ellington's Come Sunday is a straight tribute in non-bop style to the master. In a striking contrast it leads up to the final number, Be-bop, on which hectic solos from trumpet, tenor sax, and piano against the sound of drumsticks on cymbals match Bloomdido in telling you what be-bop is all about.

Jazzebel


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