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Celebrating Dizzy

Dizzy's Business
Dizzy's Business
By The Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band

Manchester Craftsman's Guild: 2006

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This review first appeared in Turbula in November 2006.

The second project from a loose aggregation of former Gillespie sidemen, this time with the addition of San Diego-based reedman (and longtime Gillespie associate) James Moody, "Dizzy's Business" is a joyous, sometimes raucous celebration of the late bop trumpeter, featuring songs written and/or performed by Gillespie.

The 19-piece big band includes such luminaries as trumpeters Randy Brecker and Roy Hargrove, trombonist/leader Slide Hampton, pianist Mulgrew Miller, and Frank Wess, Antonio Hart and Jimmy Heath joining Moody on reeds.

Now in his 80s, Moody shows no concessions to the years and turns in some stunningly lovely tenor sax solos on the Gillespie original "Con Alma" and the Jimmy Heath-penned "Moody's Groove" – a tribute to Moody's own "Moody's Mood," a classic of late '40s/early '50s bop with a luscious vocal by Italian singer Roberta Gambarini.

But the highlight of this disc is Moody's scatting duet with Gambarini on Gillespie's "Blues 'N Boogie" – Moody captures Gillespie's own style of scat-singing spot-on, and has a wonderful rapport with Gambarini, who's sweet voice is a gorgeous match to his own rough vocals.