1/5th Dizzy?

Dizzy Gillespie, pianist Thelonious Monk, bassist Oscar Pettiford, and drummer Kenny "Klook-Mop" Clarke often jammed together at Minton's Playhouse in Harlem, creating the music which would come to be called bebop. Gillespie was also fashioning a bebop look (a goatee, horn-rimmed glasses and a beret) and lingo. "Musically, we were changing the way we spoke to reflect the way we felt," Dizzy once explained. "New phrasing came in with the new accent."

Musically, the genre was characterized by constant improvisation, lightning tempo and a harmonic scale marked by a preponderance of flat notes. And socially? Gillespie once explained things thus: "We don't flat our fifths, we drink them!"

[Gillespie's virtuosity was legendary. Said trumpeter Graham Haynes (son of Gillespie collaborator Roy Haynes): "Dizzy scared the living s--- out of me. I felt like--I'll never be able to play like that. The licks were flying around at 200 miles an hour. I don't know how he did it."]

[When James Moody first auditioned to play with Gillespie and Charlie Parker, he didn't make it. The reason? He didn't play loud enough!]

0/5 0 votes

Share It

Share Report

Related Anecdotes