DIZ and GETZ
Dizzy Gillespie & Stan Getz
- It Don’t Mean a Thing
- I Let a Song go Out of My Heart
- Exactly Like You
- It’s the Talk of the Town
- One Alone
- Girl of My Dreams
- Siboney (Parts 1&2)
Dizzy Gillespie – Trumpet
Stan Getz – Tenor sax
Oscar Petersen – Piano
Ray Brown – Bass
Herb Ellis – Guitar
Max Roach – Drums
In 1953 Dizzy Gillespie was at the height of his musical
powers, acknowledged as being one of the founders of Bebop with Charlie
Parker and ready to take on anybody in a battle of jazz improvisation.
He had ideas to spare and a technique that enabled him to play them
as he thought of them.
Stan Getz had come to fame with the Woody Herman Four
Brothers Band, where his solo on Early Autumn remains a jazz legend.
At the time of this recording, he was ten years younger that Diz, just
26 years of age. I doubt whether Diz had played with him before.
There was therefore quite an element of competition
on this session, which was organised by Norman Granz of JATP fame. It
proved to be a meeting of jazz giants in which there is no clear winner,
the playing of both men is of the highest calibre and the music they
produced is what jazz is all about. Every track whether fast, very fast
or slow, swings along well and both Stan and Diz produce the kind of
solos we know they are capable of, full of inspiration and invention.
Oscar Petersen says of the session "Diz was going
to eat someone that day and I was determined that it was not going to
be me" The Oscar Peterson Quartet was probably the only rhythm
section around at the time, that could have provided what was needed.
In Oscar’s case of course there is always his own solos, I can’t get
enough of them, and to me he is the finest jazz piano player ever.
It Don’t mean a Thing is taken at 100 miles an hour,
Max Roach handles this very fast tempo brilliantly and Diz and Stan
are both on top form. I Let Song features both men and again, it is
difficult to say who comes out on top, both are excellent. Exactly Like
You has some excellent interplay between the horns as well as more admirable
solo work. It’s the Talk, has Dizzy going straight into the improvisation
and Stan demonstrating what an excellent ballad player he is.
Impromptu kicks off with a number of driving choruses
from Oscar, once again the tempo is fast and furious. Stan and Diz then
demonstrate another facet of they’re playing, handling the up-tempo
blues in brilliant style.
One Alone is from another session a year later and
it really has no place in the album, Dizzy is the only musician in common
with the rest of the music.
Neither Girl of My Dreams or Siboney are the most obvious
vehicles for jazz, but in the hands of Stan and Diz they sound like
they might have been written for the purpose?
This is an excellent album and I am delighted that
VERVE have seen fit to make it available again, it is a jazz classic.
Don Mather is a saxophone player
and Bandleader in Coventry