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Groovin' Highby Alyn Shipton
Synopses & Reviews
Dizzy Gillespie was one of the most important and best-loved musicians in jazz history. With his horn-rimmed glasses, goatee, jive talk, and upraised trumpet bell, he was the hipster who most personified bebop. The musical heir to Louis Armstrong, he created the modern jazz trumpet-playing style and dazzled aficionados and popular audiences alike for over 50 years.
In this first full biography, Alyn Shipton covers all aspects of Dizzy's remarkable life and career, taking us through his days as a flashy trumpet player in the swing bands of the 1930s, his innovative bebop work in the 1940s, the worldwide fame and adoration he earned through his big band tours in the 1950s, and the many recordings and performances which defined a career that extended into the early 1990s. Along the way, Shipton convincingly argues that Gillespie--rather than Charlie Parker as is widely believed--had the greatest role in creating bebop, playing in key jazz groups, teaching the music to others, and helping to develop the first original bebop repertory. Shipton also explores the dark side of Dizzy's mostly sunny personal life, his womanizing, the illegitimate daughter he fathered and supported--now a respected jazz singer in her own right--and his sometimes needless cruelty to others.
For anyone interested in jazz and one of its most innovative and appealing figures, Groovin' High is essential reading.
Covering Dizzy Gillespie's career through the 1930s up to the early 1990s, this text fully traces the path and progress of the extraordinary, and most exploratory, American musician.
Includes bibliographic references (p.395-398) and index.
A jazz critic for "The Times" in London now covers all aspects of Dizzy Gillespie's extraordinary life and career, taking readers through the musician's days as a sparkling trumpet soloist in the swing bands of the 1930s to the role he played in creating bebop. 26 halftones.
About the Author
Alyn Shipton presents jazz programs for the BBC and is a jazz critic for The Times in London. For many years he was a music publisher, seeing into print the autobiographies of numerous jazz musicians including Barney Bigard, Buck Clayton, Andy Kirk and Rex Stewart. He has written biographies of Fats Waller and Bud Powell, and has edited the memoirs of Danny Barker and Doc Cheatham.
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