Dizzy Gillespie

A Night in Tunisia

Composed by Dizzy Gillespie / Frank Paparelli

Song Review by

After Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie was one of the trailblazers of bebop. His blinding technique set the pace for bop, but he wasn't just an instrumentalist and bandleader -- he was a skilled composer, writing one of the definitive jazz pieces, "A Night in Tunisia." Throughout the years, as bop morphed into hard bop and post-bop, "A Night in Tunisia" remained a standard because it was that unique blend of a song that plays to a wide audience while still being satisfying for seasoned musicians. It's a fast, technically challenging piece, yet it remains catchy and melodic. And if it's possible for a bop song to be danceable, than "A Night in Tunisia" is danceable -- well, at least it has a strong beat. All kinds of musicians and groups have tackled the song throughout the years, but it remains Gillespie's showcase and this 1946 recording shows why. He makes speedy flurries of notes sound graceful and the path of his solo never is predictable, even after you become familiar with the recording. A perfect recording of a flawless tune.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
No Image 1947 Moon 2:51
School Days 1951 Savoy Jazz 5:09
No Image 1954 Verve
Afro 1955 Norgran / Verve 4:19
World Statesman 1956 Verve
At Newport 1957 IMS / Universal / Universal Classics & Jazz 10:01
Four Jazz Legends Live at Newport 1960 1960
Various Artists
Omega Music Poland / Vanguard Classics 9:42
Carnegie Hall Concert 1961 Back Up 5:11
No Image 1964 Verve 5:20
Diz 1978
Diz
RCA 2:00
No Image 1979 Pickwick 2:58
Musician, Composer, Raconteur: Plays & Raps in His Greatest Concert 1981 Pablo 17:22
No Image 1983 Embassy
Compact Jazz: Dizzy Gillespie 1987 Verve 4:15
Symphony Sessions 1989 Pro-Arte Records 11:29
No Image 1990 Bluebird
The Bluebird Sampler 1990 1990
Various Artists
Bluebird RCA
No Image 1991 Bluebird RCA
The Dizzy's Diamonds: Best of the Verve Years 1992 Verve 4:14
To Diz with Love: Diamond Jubilee Recordings 1992 Telarc Distribution 16:40
Playboy's 40th Anniversary: Four Decades of Jazz 1953-1993 1993
Various Artists
Verve 4:14
Verve Jazz Masters, Vol. 10: Dizzy Gillespie 1994 Universal Music 4:19
Dizzy Gillespie (1946-1949) 1994 RCA
No Image 1994 Four Star
The Complete RCA Victor Recordings 1995 RCA / Bluebird RCA 2:05
Birks Works:  The Verve Big-Band Sessions 1995 Universal Music / Verve 5:34
Great Jazz Bands [PGD Special Markets] 1995
Various Artists
Universal Special Products / PSM 4:18
Get Lucky 1996
Various Artists
Intersound 11:31
Best of AFRS Jubilee 163 & 162, Vol. 11 1996
Various Artists
RST Records 4:02
Night in Tunisia [Delta] 1996 Laserlight / Delta Distribution
Timothy's Jazz Cafe 1996
Various Artists
Sam the Record Man 3:09
Idiot's Guide to Jazz 1997
Various Artists
RCA 0:57
The Debut Records Story 1997
Various Artists
Debut 7:40
RCA Victor 80th Anniversary Sampler 1997
Various Artists
RCA Victor / RCA 3:06
1940-1946 1997 EPM 3:02
Bird Songs: The Final Recordings 1997 Telarc Jazz Zone / Telarc Distribution 21:46
Groovin' High [Indigo] 1997 Indigo 3:03
1946, Vol. 7-8 1998 Masters of Jazz
Gold Collection 1998 Retro Music 5:10
Triple Play 1998 Telarc Distribution 11:28
Small Groups 1945-1950: Night in Tunisia 1998 Giants Of Jazz Recordings 3:03
No Image 1998
Various Artists
BMG
Modern Jazz: Beginnings 1999
Various Artists
Louisiana Red Hot Records 3:04
Original Sounds of New York City 1999
Various Artists
Golden Sounds 3:07
The Spirit of Jazz [Wagram #1] 1999
Various Artists
Spirit Of (UK) 3:08
Dizzy in South America: Official U.S. State Department Tour, 1956, Vol. 1 1999 CAP 9:33
Essential Masters of Jazz 1999 Proper Records
Night in Tunisia [Early Bird] 1999 Early Bird 11:19
When the Saints Go Marching In 2000
Various Artists
Legacy 2:40
Introduction to Dizzy Gillespie: His Best Recordings 1937-1947 2000 Best of Jazz 3:07
Best Jazz Album in the World Ever 2000
Various Artists
Virgin
From Swing to Bebop: Recordings by the Best Performers of the Greatest Era in Jazz 2000
Various Artists
Document 3:03
Ken Burns Jazz 2000 Verve 3:12
BeBop Spoken Here: Disorder at the Border 2000
Various Artists
Proper Sales & Dist. 3:05
Jazz Collection: Dizzy Gillespie 2001 Laserlight 10:11
No Image 2001
Various Artists
BMG
Manteca 2001 Jazz Hour 3:08
Bebop Spoken Here [Proper] 2001
Various Artists
Proper Sales & Dist. 3:05
Jivin'in Be-Bop [DVD] 2001 Storyville Films
A  Night in Tunisia [BMG] 2001 BMG / Dreyfus Jazz 3:06
Things to Come: The Dizzy Gillespie Story 1939-1950 2001 Proper Sales & Dist. 3:05
The Dizzy Gillespie Story: 1939-1950 [Box Set] 2002 Proper Box 3:05
Cool Jazz [Universal Special Products] 2002
Various Artists
Universal Special Products 4:15
Professor Bebop 2002 Recall (UK) 3:05
The Quintessence: New York - Chicago 1940-1947 2002 Frémeaux & Associés 3:07
Take Flight!: A Bluebird Collection 2002
Various Artists
Bluebird RCA / RCA 3:06
Toronto Massey Hall 53 2002 Past Perfect 7:55
Swing Era 2003 Barea / Idem
Just Jazz: Legends of Jazz 2003
Various Artists
Direct Source 4:25
NEA Jazz Masters 2004
Various Artists
Verve 5:34
No Image 2004
Various Artists
BMG Special Products 3:08
BD Jazz 2004 Nocturne Records 3:08
Early Years: 1937-1951 2004 Jazz Legends 3:03
Salt Peanuts 2004 Justin Time 9:13
Jazz E Bossa, Vol. 2 2004
Various Artists
Albatroz
No Image 2005
Various Artists
Legacy 2:40
The  Jazz Biography 2005 AAO Music 3:04
Summer Jazz Live at New Jersey 1987 2005 FS World Jazz
No Image 2005 Dreyfus Jazz 3:08
The Best of Dizzy Gillespie: Small Groups 2005 Jazz Forever 3:03
NEA Jazz Masters 2005 Verve 4:17
Round About Midnight 2006 Original Jazz Standards 3:04
100 ans de Jazz 2006 BMG International
A Night in Tunisia: The Very Best of Dizzy Gillespie 2006 RCA/Legacy 3:09
The Verve/Philips Dizzy Gillespie Small Group Sessions 2006 Verve 6:46
Latin Grooves [Dance Classics] 2006
Various Artists
Dance Classics 4:16
That Devilin' Tune, Vol. 3 2006
Various Artists
Music & Arts 3:48
Salt Peanuts, Vol. 7 2006 Happy Bird 3:01
Live at the 1965 Monterey Jazz Festival 2007 Concord / Monterey Jazz Festival Records 10:46
Night in Tunisia: Big Band Live 1957 2007 Hindsight 9:38
The Very Best of Jazz 2008 Universal Distribution 10:48
Performance 2010 Fuel 2000 / Varèse Sarabande 7:18
No Image 2013 Golden Sky Records 3:04
No Image 2013 Dwk Records 3:09
No Image 2013 Golden Sky Records 3:04
No Image 2013 Reloaded 3:09
No Image 2013 Jazzsential 3:09
Live in Vegas, 1963, Vol. 1 2016 Hindsight / Jazz Rewind Records 10:03
The Essential Recordings 2017 Primo
Anthropology History 3:03
No Image
Various Artists
Madison Bay Records 2:35
Dizzy Gillespie, Vol. 1 Jazz Classics 5:04
Jazz
Various Artists
Universal 5:33
Live at the Royal Festival Hall Kultur
When Be-Bop Was King Smith & Co. 5:10
blue highlight denotes editor's pick