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Dizzy Gillespie

John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie born (October 21, 1917 – January 6, 1993) was an American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, singer, and composer. Along with Charlie Parker, he was a major figure in the development of bebop and modern jazz. Throughout the 1940s, Dizzy created new pitches of sound, tone, and demonstrated strong virtuosity with his trumpet. He also had great range and a large amount of control of his trumpet. His suppleness of rhythm, unevenly spaced phrases and complex, chromatically augmented runs played at breathtaking speed also described his playing style. Numerous people, from all generations, consider him the greatest trumpeter of them all. He along with other jazz musicians established bebop as a style of jazz for both small combos and big bands. He taught and influenced many other musicians including trumpeters Miles Davis, Fats Navarro, Clifford Brown, Lee Morgan, and John Faddis.

dizzy-gillespie-3Essential recordings are Sonny Side Up, Charlie Parker Dizzy Gillespie Town Hall, and Birks Works

The storyof Dizzy’s bent trumpet was that it happened during a birthday party he was having for his wife Lorraine. The comedians Stump and Stumpy were fooling around during intermission when one of them fell on his trumpet, bending it. When Dizzy saw the bent condition of the horn, he was concerned that if he tried to bend it back it would come off completely, so he figured he would play it the way it was. And when he played it, he loved the way it sounded, he could hear his own sound better while he was playing.  He ended up liking it so much that he had one of the instrument companies make a horn for him.




Town Hall

Town Hall

Sonny Side Up

Sonny Side Up

Birks Works

Birks Works





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