It’s a bit late in the day, but not too late to say happy birthday to Dizzy Gillespie fans and millions of listeners who may not be aware that much of their favorite music would not exist if John Birks Gillespie hadn’t helped bring it out of the swing era. His spirit and example, and his partnership with Charlie Parker, are still modernizing jazz, as they were in 1946 when Gillespie recorded “Emanon.”
November 12, 1946, New York. Dizzy Gillespie, Dave Burns, Elmon Wright, Matthew McKay, John Lynch, trumpet; Al Moore, Taswell Baird, Gordon Thomas, trombone; John Brown, Scoops Carey, alto saxophone; James Moody, Bill Frazier, tenor saxophone; Pee Wee Moore, baritone saxophone; Milt Jackson – vibes; John Lewis, piano; Ray Brown, bass; Joe Harris, drums.
Wayne Shorter’s recent album Emanon did not include that classic Gillespie b-flat blues but Shorter, like virtually all serious modern jazz artists, has frequently acknowledged Gillespie’s inspirational example.