In the first full biography of Dizzy Gillespie since his death, Shipton reveals one of the most significant innovators in jazz history, tracing his worldwide fame and adoration, the many recordings which defined his career, his relationships with other jazz musicians, and his dark side. 26 photos.In the first full biography of Dizzy Gillespie since his death, Shipton reveals one of the most significant innovators in jazz history, tracing his worldwide fame and adoration, the many recordings which defined his career, his relationships with other jazz musicians, and his dark side. 26 photos.Read Less
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Oxford University Press, USA, Oxford, England
Publishers Weekly, 1999-05-17 Challenging the conventional view that saxophonist Charlie Parker set the pace for the bebop generation, this engrossing biography of trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie (1917-1993) makes the case that Diz was in many ways a "more original, wide-ranging and innovative" bebop pioneer. In a vibrant blend of meticulous scholarship, swinging anecdote and astute music criticism, London Times jazz critic Shipton charts Gillespie's creative evolution, from his heady plunge into New York's swing-era scene of the late 1930s, through his revolutionary experimentation of the 1940s and '50s, to his slide in the '60s and his reinvention of himself as the elder statesman of jazz. Born John Birks Gillespie in South Carolina, where he faced grinding poverty and racial prejudice, Dizzy's happy-go-lucky exterior concealed a quickfire temper and a mean streak that Shipton attributes to his sadistic bricklayer father. Beneath the hipster persona, the beret and goatee, Shipton shows, was a man of formidable intelligence. A contradictory figure, Gillespie prided himself on his outwardly exemplary life with his wife, Lorraine Willis, who acted as his personal manager; the public revelation in 1990 that he had fathered an illegitimate daughter?singer Jeanie Bryson?with white songwriter Connie Bryson ripped the lid off his secret life. Shipton credits Gillespie's embrace of the Baha'i faith by 1970 as key to the spiritual growth that allowed him to assume the roles of teacher and prophet for a generation of younger musicians. A must for jazz aficionados, this exhaustively researched biography features a supporting cast that reads like a who's who of jazz history: Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughan, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Max Roach and many, many more. Photos. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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