Dizzy Gillespie

1941-1942, Vol. 3

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Volumes one and two in the Masters of Jazz reissue label's survey of early Dizzy Gillespie dealt with his adventures as a member of the Teddy Hill and Cab Calloway orchestras between the years 1937-1941. Volume three plunges into fascinating territory as Gillespie spent a 14-month period (May 1941 through July 1942) sitting in with bands led by Cab Calloway, Lucky Millinder, Woody Herman, Les Hite, and alto saxophonist Pete Brown, and regularly participating in open-ended jam sessions at Minton's Playhouse with saxophonists Don Byas and Chu Berry, trumpeter Joe Guy, electrically amplified guitarist Charlie Christian, pianist Kenny Kersey, bassist Nick Fenton, and drummers Kenny "Klook" Clarke and Harold "Doc" West. The Pete Brown session (for Decca records on February 9, 1942) is particularly tasty, with Jimmy Hamilton sitting in on clarinet, Sammy Price at the piano, and vocals by Helen Humes and Nora Lee King. Because Dizzy Gillespie was not yet an established figure in the world of jazz, and too because of the 1942 AFM recording ban, this portion of his story is relatively murky and spottily documented. Which makes this one of the most interesting and covetable volumes in the entire Masters of Jazz catalog.

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