Giants of Jazz presents a 22-track tribute to trumpeter, composer, bandleader and bop innovator Dizzy Gillespie. The emphasis here is upon the modest sized ensembles he led during the years 1945 and 1946. Rather than using chronologic sequencing so as to demonstrate the rapid evolution of jazz during this transitional period, the producers scrambled together selections from Victor, Dial and Musicraft sessions that took place in Glendale CA and NYC in February and May 1946, then inserted material from Gillespie's first four studio dates as a leader, doling out vintage bop masterpieces recorded during the first five months of 1945 and originally issued on 78 rpm platters bearing the Manor and Guild imprints. The sequencing then backtracks forward, as it were, to more Dial recordings from 1946, revisiting the West and East Coast sessions that were touched upon earlier in the compilation. The supporting cast on this bop anthology is awe-inspiring. It includes Charlie Parker, Sonny Stitt, Dexter Gordon, Don Byas, Lucky Thompson, Trummy Young, Milt Jackson, Al Haig, Ray Brown, Oscar Pettiford, Kenny Clarke, J.C. Heard and vocalist and arranger Gil Fuller.
AllMusic Review by arwulf arwulf