Symphony Sessions

Dizzy Gillespie

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Symphony Sessions Review

by Scott Yanow

Teaming Dizzy Gillespie with a symphony orchestra may have been a good idea in theory but, by the time of the recordings that comprise this CD, he was already nearing the age of 72, and his trumpet playing had declined quite a bit. Since Gillespie is the main soloist throughout this set (in which his quintet with tenor-saxophonist Ron Holloway is accompanied by The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by John Dankworth), there are many weak moments. Certainly these versions of "Manteca" and "A Night in Tunisia" pale in comparison to the earlier classic recordings, leading one to the conclusion that this matchup should have occurred 20 years earlier.

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