I hope that you have as much fun watching and listening to this video as Ray Brown had when it was recorded. Brown is the bassist in a reunion with his old boss Dizzy Gillespie. He was on the original recording of “Ow!” by Gillespie’s big band in 1947, and James Moody was in the saxophone section. Here they are 38 years later at the 1985 Bern, Switzerland, Jazz Festival. Gene Harris is the pianist, with Grady Tate on drums.
As your ear may have told you by the end of that performance, Gillespie based “Ow!” on the chord changes of George Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm.” which has supplied the chords of countless “original” compositions in jazz. Gillespie also used what musicians generally call “’Rhythm’ changes” for “Dizzy Atmosphere,” “Anthropology,” “One Bass Hit,” “Shaw Nuff” (written with Charlie Parker) and “Stay On It.” There may be other Gillespie IGR contrafacts. Contrafact is the formal name for such borrowings. If chord sequences could be copyrighted, the Gershwin estate might be the richest institution on earth.