John Birks Gillespie’s 93rd

Note: If this item looks familiar, it is because I mistakenly posted it on October 17. Today, October 21, is the correct date of Dizzy's birth, so the Rifftides staff is moving the piece to where it belongs and adding a couple of links—DR. This is the birthday of Dizzy Gillespie (1917-1993). In observance, here is a remarkable confluence of the talents of Gillespie and the master composer and arranger Robert Farnon (1917-2005). The piece is Gillespie's "Con Alma," orchestrated by Farnon and … [Read more...]

Other Places: Kenny Wheeler

Trumpeter, flugelhornist and composer Kenny Wheeler, now in his 80s, is a man of so few words that he is nearly silent, but John Fordham of The Guardian managed to persuade Wheeler to talk about himself for an article. Anyone interested in the unceasingly searching trumpeter, flugelhornist and composer will want to read Fordham's piece. Here's an excerpt: He doesn't even call himself a composer, but someone who "takes pretty songs and joins them up." The soft-spoken Toronto-born musician has … [Read more...]