The populist Dizzy Gillespie gets full rein in this lively, happy collection of tunes exploring rhythms and idioms from the Caribbean. Gillespie is in an ebullient mood, even offering some sly lead calypso vocals on three numbers (perhaps his lighthearted presidential "campaign" of 1964 contributed to the high spirits; the sessions began a day after Election Day). Much of the material comes from Dizzy's band on the session -- which includes the formidable James Moody on tenor and flute, Kenny Barron on piano, and percussionist Kansas Fields -- and there are some genuine calypsos by Joe Willoughby to round out the package. The cut with the biggest quota of fun is "Barbados Carnival," with guitarist Chris White doubling as a calypso singer, and the lengthy "Trinidad, Goodbye" offers the largest amount of straight-ahead playing. This slice of enjoyable minor Gillespie, originally on Limelight, was reissued on Verve with the original cover on its By Request series in 1998.
Jambo Caribe Review
by Richard S. Ginell