One of a number of Art Blakey albums titled after "Night In Tunisia" – and most likely the best! The tune is a perfect fit for the Blakey Jazz Messengers format – long, rhythmic, really stretching out, yet allowing plenty of space for the horn players to solo. Players include Bobby Timmons on piano, Lee Morgan on trumpet, and Wayne Shorter on tenor – a killer lineup that's in really classic form here – driven on nicely by Blakey's drums and bass work by Jymie Merritt. Titles include "Night In Tunisia", with Blakey thundering through impeccably – plus the tracks "Yama", "Kozo's Waltz", and a version of Timmons' great "So Tired".
The great John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie (1917-1993) was more than just one of the best jazz trumpeters of all time. A superlative musician of dazzling, astonishing technique, Gillespie was one of the key founders of the BeBop movement of the forties, to the point that his goatee, beret and "bop glasses" came to epitomize the new, revolutionary style. One of the masters of the Bop idiom, Gillespie also was the first jazzman to seriously experiment with Afro-Cuban rhythms, the leader of two of the most exciting big bands in history, a composer of note, a masterful showman onstage, and an enthusiastic, quick-witted personality off it. In many respects, Diz - as he was universally known - showed the way to every post-war trumpeter in the jazz field.
Dizzy Gilespie features two historic concerts from one of the founding fathers of bebop. Filmed 12 years apart, the 1958 concert features Dizzy working eloquently within the small combo structure of a quintet including with such influential musicians as sax player Sonny Stitt and bassist Ray Brown. The second show focuses on a completely different side of Dizzy, fronting the legendary Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland Big Band. With a 16-piece big band to conduct, including two drummers, his Latin influences are revealed on Con Alma and Manteca.
Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers met their artistic peak with the powerful A NIGHT IN TUNISIA. This incarnation of the group included Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter, Bobby Timmons and Jymie Merritt with their leader Blakey. As the Messengers entered their most fruitful period for Blue Note, Blakey drove his men relentlessly with powerful grooves, heavy swinging and shouts of encouragement. This session documents the full power of his assertive leadership and the masterful playing of his sidemen, each rising to legendary status under his tutelage.
For a time in 1988, Moe Koffman (tripling on flute, alto and soprano) teamed up regularly with trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie. On this CD, Koffman and his regular group (guitarist Ed Bickert, keyboardist Bernie Senensky, bassist Kieran Overs, and drummer Barry Elmes) perform three of Dizzy's tunes, originals by Koffman and Senensky, and "Lush Life" with Gillespie. Diz's trumpet playing was clearly past its prime by 1988, but his scat singing on "Oop-Pop-A-Da" is quite virtuosic and outstanding, easily the high point of this little-known set.