Dizzy Gillespie / Mel Tormé

Jazz Casual [Idem]

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This European bootleg DVD combines two programs in Ralph J. Gleason's Jazz Casual series. Dizzy Gillespie, always a fascinating interview, doesn't disappoint in his chat with Gleason. His band includes pianist Lalo Schifrin, flutist Leo Wright, bassist Bob Cunningham, and drummer Chuck Lampkin. The program includes the leader's bluesy tribute to his wife, "Lorraine," as well as the Afro-Cuban-flavored "Blues After Dark" and an excerpt from Schifrin's "Gillespiana Suite." The segment with Mel Tormé is one of the better editions of the program. It's clear early on in the interview that Tormé is more comfortable on camera than his host, as he talks about the differences between jazz and pop singing, also sharing his reservations about some well-known performers. Tormé has praise for Bob Dorough's rockish "Comin' Home Baby," a piece he would later dismiss as of little interest. The highlight is Tormé's superb rendition of Bobby Timmons' "Dat Dere." The singer accompanies himself on piano during "When Sunny Gets Blue." While these programs are both worthwhile, legitimate editions issued previously in the U.S. by other labels have better-quality audio and video.