Dizzy Gillespie

1943-1944, Vol. 4

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In their Dizzy Gillespie CD series, Masters of Jazz has been reissuing every early selection in which the trumpeter can be heard. In some ways, 1943-1944, Vol. 4 is the most interesting because of the rarity of the material, plus the time period that it covers, just before Gillespie became famous. His style was just about fully formed by this time, but the jazz world was still dominated by swing. The CD starts out with the lone 1943 selection, a jam on "Sweet Georgia Brown" by a trio comprised of Gillespie, Charlie Parker (on tenor), and bassist Oscar Pettiford; the Stash label had been the first to release this very valuable performance. Next up is a wretchedly recorded (but very valuable) version of "A Night in Tunisia" by Gillespie in his short-lived 52nd Street Quintet with tenor saxophonist Budd Johnson, pianist George Wallington, drummer Max Roach, and Pettiford. All of the numbers in which Gillespie solos with Coleman Hawkins' band (including "Woody'n You") and the Billy Eckstine Orchestra (including two versions of "Blowing the Blues Away") are here, as are the five songs that Sarah Vaughan recorded during her first date as a leader, Jimmy Dorsey's version of "Grand Central Getaway" (which Gillespie arranged) and a long-lost Clark Monroe's Uptown House jam ("The Dizzy Crawl") from 1941 that had never been out before. Most intriguing are five selections (four on which he solos) that Gillespie performed in 1944 with the John Kirby Sextet/Septet; tenor saxophonist Ben Webster is also on three of the songs. To hear Gillespie emerge from the highly arranged cool-toned group and play radical bop solos on "Rose Room" and "Taking a Chance on Love" is a rare thrill. Easily recommended to listeners interested in the formative years of bebop.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 7:34
2 3:49
3 3:00
4 3:12
5 2:58
6 2:56
7 2:59
feat: John Kirby
feat: John Kirby
feat: John Kirby
feat: John Kirby
feat: John Kirby
feat: Jimmy Dorsey
14 3:15
15 3:07
16 2:37
17 2:41
18 2:31
19 2:26
20 2:19
21 2:52
22 6:44
blue highlight denotes track pick