Dizzy Gillespie - The Champ

Dizzy Gillespie returned to Europe in 1952 and again in '53, his style, in the studios at least, already somewhat mellowed. For his triumphant February return to Paris's Salle Pleyel, however, for his concert presented here, he had his all-American quintet digging deep into the bop bag. The long opening number immediately announces the mood: uncompromising bebop, as if to prove to defenders of the cause that all is well. Perhaps the most noticeable change is that, despite infrequent injections of Afro-Cuban elements, a conventional 4/4 tends to have taken over from the previous web of polyrhythms.

This album is a fascinating look at a high point of Dizz's career, one no jazz fan will want to miss!

SKU: IC7023

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The Champ Tin Tin Deo They Can't Take That Away From Me Good Bait The Bluest Blues Birk Works On the Sunny Side of the Street Swing Low, Sweet Chariot Mon Homme Ooh, Shoo Be Doo Be School Days

Additional Info

Additional Info

Format: Jazz Record
Soloist/Artist Dizzy Gillespie
Instruments Music and Musicians
Composer No
Accompanist/ Conductor Dizzy Gillespie, trumpet, vocals, conga; Bill Graham, sax; Wade Legge, piano; Lou Hackney, bass; Al Jones, drums; Joe Carroll, vocals
SKU IC7023


Customer Reviews (2)

"Gillespiana Francais!"Review by Big Toots
IC 7023 The Champ Dizzy Gillespie

By 1953, Dizzy Gillespie had already long established himself as a jazz revolutionary and icon. And, with this live and very exciting Parisian date, Diz cements that status. He was indeed "The Champ" on the Champs Elysees, and on these 11 cuts he knocks each out magnificently.

Gillespie, no wallflower by any means, covers the blistering eponymous titled tune and all that follow with an energized flair. When did Diz ever not perform that way, especially live? Embracing the stratosphere with his not-yet-titled horn, Dizzy is as facile and effortless as ever. He walks that improvisational excitement tightrope better than skywalker, Philippe Petit. The Latin material Gillespie also embraced is also sent up superbly (“Tin Tin Deo”). It’s all here for the taking.

Classics that are well-associated with and must-be-heard-by Gillespie are served up here for the very appreciative French audience ("Birk's Works," “Good Bait,” "On the Sunny Side of the Street"). And, Dizzy and his team let fur fly. As you'd expect from the bereted one, there are plenty of shenanigans going on with Joe Carroll and Diz scatting and vocalizing with glee (“Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (Cadillac),” “Ooh, Shoo Be Doo Be,” “School Days”).

Saxman Bill Graham is a fine Diz foil and an ace improviser for the burners and slower material. The rhythm section aggressively joins the frolicking and cooks with French style.

"The Champ" is a superior recollection of Gillespiana. It’s Dizzy at his dizzying best – maybe better.
(Posted on 6/4/2015)
Dizzy Gillespie: The ChampReview by Simon Sez
One of the most fun bands that Dizzy Gillespie led was in 1953 when he spent time in Europe. Unlike many other musicians from the bebop years and the 1950s who played music with a serious face and usually seemed to be deep in some intellectual thoughts when onstage, Dizzy always seemed to be having fun. He went out of his way to crack jokes with the audience and he smiled much of the time. Not that he didn’t play music seriously, for one could not be on Gillespie’s level without working hard on the trumpet every day, but Dizzy never seemed to be in pain about it. Maybe that is why he became world famous and was never short of work while other beboppers seemed to be struggling much of the time.
On The Champ, which has music taken from a Paris concert, Dizzy is heard with a quintet that has baritonist Bill Graham and pianist Wade Legge plus vocals from Joe “Bebop” Carroll. Dizzy and “Bebop” do some crazy scat singing on “The Champ” before Gillespie takes one of his great trumpet solos. Dizzy is in top form throughout this concert, both in his sense of humor (check out “Swing Low, Sweet Cadillac”) and in his playing (on such goodies as “Good Bait” and “School Days”). This is a Dizzy Gillespie record that everyone should have!

Simon Sez: Run don’t walk and go get Dizzy Gillespie’s The Champ (IC7023). This concert from 1953 is too much fun to miss.

(Posted on 5/6/2014)

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