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by Donald L Maggin
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Music
  • Author:
    Donald L Maggin
  • ISBN:
    0688170889
  • ISBN13:
    978-0688170882
  • Genre:
  • Publisher:
    It Books; 1st edition (March 15, 2005)
  • Pages:
    432 pages
  • Subcategory:
    Music
  • Language:
  • FB2 format
    1781 kb
  • ePUB format
    1591 kb
  • DJVU format
    1464 kb
  • Rating:
    4.4
  • Votes:
    438
  • Formats:
    mbr azw doc docx


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Dizzy Gillespie has secured his place in the jazz pantheon as one of the most expressive and virtuosic improvisers .

Dizzy Gillespie has secured his place in the jazz pantheon as one of the most expressive and virtuosic improvisers in the history of music. But he was much more than that. Author Donald L. Maggin shows how, with bebop during the late 1930s and early 1940s, Dizzy and four colleagues - Charlie Parker, Kenny Clarke, Thelonious Monk, and Charlie Christian - radically expanded the rhythmic and harmonic foundations of jazz.

Dizzy Gillespie has secured his place in the jazz pantheon as one of the most. Dizzy Gillespie has secured his place in the jazz pantheon as one of the most expressive and virtuosic improvisers in the history of music. As one of the primary creators of the bebop and Afro-Cuban revolutions, he twice fundamentally changed the way jazz improvisation was done. And he later extended his revolutionary reach by transforming Dizzy Gillespie has secured his place in the jazz pantheon as one of the most expressive and virtuosic improvisers in the history of music.

Dizzy Gillespie secured his place in the jazz pantheon as one of the most expressive and virtuosic improvisers in the . Donald L. Maggin is the author of Stan Getz: A Life in Jazz.

Dizzy Gillespie secured his place in the jazz pantheon as one of the most expressive and virtuosic improvisers in the history of music. More important is that he was one of its great innovators. A writer and businessman, he has produced jazz concerts by such artists as Max Roach, Sonny Stitt, James Moody, Roland Hanna, Eubie Blake, and Roberta Flack. More important is that he was one of its great innovators

Dizzy Gillespie secured his place in the jazz pantheon as one of the most expressive and virtuosic improvisers in the history of music. As a primary creator of the bebop and Afro-Cuban revolutions, he twice changed the way improvisation was fundamentally done. And by combining electrifying musicianship, infectious warmth, and rare comedic skills, he achieved a worldwide popularity few jazz musicians have ever enjoyed

In: Jazz Journal International, Vol. 58, No. 12, pp. 16-17. View it in the Music Periodicals Database.

Donald L. Maggin Dizzy: The . Unfortunately, Maggin's book slips a little in the latter third, which covers the sixties and beyond, lean years for jazz. Maggin Dizzy: The Life and Times of John Birks Gillespie Harper Collins 422 Pages ISBN: 0-688-17088-9. Dizzy Gillespie towers over the history of jazz, a true giant among his peers. Maggin details Gillespie's struggles to find a home for his harmonic adventures in the home of swing bands until he hooked up with Billy Eckstine, a bandleader who welcomed the new developments. Along the way we get amusing anecdotes, such as the time Parker came by Dizzy's place at a late hour to play him a new tune.

Dizzy Gillespie has secured his place in the jazz pantheon as one of the most expressive and virtuosic improvisers in the history of music. And he later extended his revolutionary reach by transforming the aesthetic of big band jazz. This vivid biography chronicles Dizzy's saga from the lowest rung on the American social and political ladder to the highest.

Download Dizzy: The Life and Times of John Birks Gillespie.

Dizzy Gillespie has secured his place in the jazz pantheon as one of the most expressive and virtuosic improvisers in the history of music. But he was much more than that. As one of the primary creators of the bebop and Afro-Cuban revolutions, he twice fundamentally changed the way jazz improvisation was done. And he later extended his revolutionary reach by transforming the aesthetic of big band jazz.

This vivid biography chronicles Dizzy's saga from the lowest rung on the American social and political ladder to the highest. Born black in fiercely racist Cheraw, South Carolina, in 1917, Dizzy combined great energy, a furious drive to succeed, and a one-in-a-million talent to climb quickly out of rural poverty to a role among the Swing Era jazz elite before his twenty-first birthday.

Author Donald L. Maggin shows how, with bebop during the late 1930s and early 1940s, Dizzy and four colleagues -- Charlie Parker, Kenny Clarke, Thelonious Monk, and Charlie Christian -- radically expanded the rhythmic and harmonic foundations of jazz. And he illustrates how Dizzy and Mario Bauzá recast the music duing the late 1940s by enriching it with invigorating and exciting Afro-Cuban polyrhythms. He also relates how Dizzy and his colleagues endured a torrent of criticism before their innovations were accepted into the mainstream.

Dizzy's story takes us on the road with the great Calloway, Hines, and Eckstine bands and to Cheraw's cotton fields, Harlem's afterhours clubs, the teeming 1940s Fifty-second Street jazz scene, the rhythmic barrios of Havana, Rio's samba festivals, the White House, and the world's great concert halls as Dizzy teamed up with prodigious talents to make great music during a career spanning fifty-five years. It also records his spiritual growth over the decades and the intense love he earned from those close to him.

As an entertainer Dizzy combined his electrifying musicianship with an infectious warmth and rare comedic skills, becoming beloved worldwide and achieving a popularity that few jazz musicians have ever enjoyed.


Walianirv
Dizzy was, above all, a master "player," probably the best the music has known. It came through in his clowning, his escapades, his dress, his eating, his resilience, his take-it-as-it-comes spirit, and his music--he approached the language of jazz as a writer like Shakespeare or James Joyce approaches the English language. It's about hard work, discipline and mastery, but it's equally about serendipity, playfulness and fun.

I discovered jazz around the time of "Kind of Blue," and as a result Miles Davis, Coltrane and Bill Evans, along with the putatively more authentic "Blue Note sound," ruled for the next 30-35 years (I know of some jazz followers who still will listen to nothing but Blue Note and Van Gelder-engineered sessions--hence, rule out Bird, Diz, Stitt, Oscar, Getz, Brubeck, Louis, and Duke--thank goodness that very little of Bill Evans' piano sound was "doctored" by Blue Note). It didn't help that on the half-dozen occasions on which I heard Diz, he really wasn't all that impressive--limiting his solo time, traveling with electric bass players and guitarists, carrying a female vocalist of questionable ability, repeating the same gags, exhibiting nothing like the full, wide-range trumpet sound of the few recordings I'd heard by him from the late 1940s and 1950s. But after revaluation and going back and listening carefully to the recorded evidence, I've become a believer.

Miles was the marquee performer commanding mega bucks for each of his appearances, or "dramatic events": Dizzy may have been playing the low-rent jobs in small clubs, colleges and community concert series, occasionally even making "rock n roll" recordings that made Miles' worst fusion efforts sound like the masterpieces his legions claimed on their behalf. But with the dust finally settling, it's become clear that Diz was the genius, the American Master, the other half of Charlie Parker's heart-beat.

It's gratifying to see that he's getting some of the respect he deserves--through his autobiography, the Burns television series, and most recently Maggin's biography. The book is fat (in keeping with the eventful life of its deceptively fast-moving subject) but moves quickly (Diz, more than any other soloist, made fast tempos a way of playing). Keeping up with Dizzy's travels is a challenge even for a reader, but Maggin, with the help of interviewees like Mike Longo, constructs a coherent timeline. He also brings out the significance of Norman Granz and of Verve records--though I wish he had done more to explore the role of Verve in keeping alive a complex musical language that had been reduced to commercial electronica at Columbia, endless variations on the same modal scales at Impulse, and formulaic funk at Blue Note records.

The book could also use more attention to what the man left behind. The absence of a discography makes it easy to miss let alone locate, for example, the first and only LP (10") made by Gillespie and Parker, a supposedly more accessible Diz and Bird. And what about the curious mid-70s Diz-Stitt recording organized by young Swedes, "The Bop Session," on which Max Roach performed only on condition that Dizzy not get top billing on the record? And perhaps it's no longer necessary to concede that Bird had the edge as an improviser: in fact, it's quite plausible that it was the other way around--but point the reader to the recorded evidence.

Some questions are only partially addressed. Why did Diz' solos become abbreviated and his trumpet sound limited in range and volume after 1960? Maggin mentions dental implants in the 1980s, which doesn't provide much of an answer. What was Diz' (and the author's) response to criticisms that the bebop giant was deficient, on the one hand, in Miles Davis' poignant coolness and, on the other, in Clifford Brown's soulful and passionate romanticism? Also, what did Diz make of the later commercial-popular success if not universal deification of Miles, who occupies too little of the present account (possibly because Gillespie never gave his younger, conspicuously less-gifted successor much thought?). And why is Maggin yet another listener who, despite chronicling the life of a bebop avatar, can't hear Stitt's near-complete dominance of Rollins on the "Eternal Triangle" session (especially the title track)? One wonders if he bothered to go back and listen or is simply buying into the popular and critical partyline surrounding the likes of a Rollins, Coleman, Rivers or Ra. And for Pete's sake, a book about Diz the trumpet player with no mention of his famously grotesque Goodyear- blimp cheeks? (The reason some legit players and teachers don't bother to take him seriously).

To his credit, Maggin doesn't presume to know his subject's thoughts, nor does he make grandiose claims about his subject's irreproachable "rightness in all things"--extravagant indulgences manifested in a recent biography of Miles Davis by an academic writer who comes off less as a scholar than a sycophantic worshiper. (Beware of sociological "paeans to the music counterculture" masquerading as biographies and serious musical studies.) Maggin, happily, doesn't promise a study puncturing the myth while simultaneously fueling and inflating it. And though the book is unlikely to convert those not in the fold, it's an enjoyable, frequently fascinating read for Dizzy-ophiles. The author's subject remains human, even credibly so, to the end.
Shadowredeemer
There have been two other major biographies of John Gillespie, now out of print, and his on semi-autobiography, To Be or Not to Bop, published in 1979, also OP.

I bought this book primarily on the strength of Maggin's biography of Stan Getz. Of the two, the Getz book is the stronger, more insightful and more readable book (now, alas, also out of print but in most libraries).

This book is a pretty dry read. Facts are marshaled one after another, incidents related in a neutral voice, and though it is clear the author checks his facts, does not try to mythologize his subject and is not out to feed the popular appetite for dirt, I did wish for a few more anecdotes (there are some), or maybe something just a bit less guarded in the prose. This reads a bit too much like a history book. And important characters kept appearing late in the book that we find were part of Dizzy's life earlier on, I would love to know more about how and when he worked with some of them.

One thing that Maggin does well is show Gillespie's life in the context of the development of the music, just what his innovations were and their place and importance in the history of jazz. That, combined with his caution in portraying Dizzy as true to life rather than larger than life makes this book balanced, objective and informative, if somewhat lifeless. To get a sense of Dizzy Gillespie the man, what he liked, what he thought and felt about his world (and just to have some fun) I'd encourage you to check out his own words, and those of his friends, in "To Be or Not To Bob".
Original
Book delivered in good condition This book gives information on dizzy's family and will be used to verify information in my family tree concerning the family of his mother
Shem
Obviously, the two books to compare this work with are Dizzy's own 1979 "To Be or Not to Bop" and Alyn Shipton's 1999 "Groovin' High." Dizzy's book was a disjointed, subjective, sometimes annoying, but deeply insightful oral history. Shipton's book was a straightforward bio that attempted to avoid the "he recorded this, then he recorded that" syndrome by alternating chronological chapters with evaluations of the recordings available from each period in the previous chapter. A good idea, but a lack of specific enough information as to recording dates, locations and labels defeated the purpose.

You won't miss anything if you choose either Maggin's or Shipton's book. Shipton covers the pre-bop/pre WW II period more, while Maggin gives a deeper discussion of Dizzy's incredibly fertile late 50's and early 60's period. If you are not one hundred percent sure what bop is, or why Charlie Parker or Theloneous Monk are so important, Maggin's book is better, because he breaks the story to explain these points without being patronizing. He does start to dip into the "recorded this, recorded that" syndrome in the latter decades of Dizzy's life, but it doesn't get really bad. Overall, Maggin's book reads a little smoother, a little better. What surprises me the most is that during the six years between Shipton's and Maggin's book, absolutely nothing new seems to have come out, not even in the ongoing legal dispute over royalties between Dizzy's widow Lorraine and jazz vocalist Jeanne Bryson, who claims to be his daughter by another woman. (Both Shipton and Maggin conclude that more probably than not, she is.)

In any case, read either Shipton's book or Maggin's. Then, once you know the basic whos, whats, wheres and whens, beg, borrow or let yourself get ripped off for a used copy of Diz's own autobiography, which is where the REAL fun is!