Although Dizzy Gillespie was one of the great architects of modern jazz and its most famous personality, his trumpet style has rarely been imitated successfully. His high-speed runs, twisting phrases, and upper-register leaps are just too difficult to duplicate. This collection begins by placing Gillespie in the big swing bands in which his career began, his complex arrangements and advanced harmonic imagination gradually heralding the coming of bop. There are superb versions of some of his most famous anthems, like "A Night In Tunisia" and "Salt Peanuts", and meetings with altoist Charlie Parker, co-leader of the modernist revolution. Gillespie successfully translated the bop idiom to a big band format, and his magnificent but short-lived bands are heard on the surging "Manteca" and "Birk's Works". His creative range is apparent--from the gorgeous "No More Blues", from his early discovery of bossa nova, and from his famous gospel parody, "Swing Low, Sweet Cadillac". While his formats would change, it's the Gillespie trumpet that's central here, an instrument capable of both rocketing invention and muted, insinuating sweetness. --Stuart Broomer
From small-combo bebop to big-band Latin excursions, Diz was always the innovator. 16 tracks from Conqueror, Delmark, Manor, RCA, MusiCraft, Guild, Savoy, Clef, Verve, Philips and (whew!) Impulse, featuring A Night in Tunisia; One Bass Hit, No. 2; Manteca; Tin Tin Deo , and more.