|Personnel: Dizzy Gillespie (vocals, trumpet); Dizzy Gillespie; Chano Pozo (vocals, congas, bongos); Joe Carroll, Billy Eckstine, Sarah Vaughan, Cab Calloway (vocals); Chuck Wayne, Danny Barker , John "BJ John" Smith, John Collins, Clifton Best, Connie Wainwright (guitar); Mauricio Smith (flute, piccolo, alto saxophone); Mario Rivera (alto flute, tenor saxophone); Mario Bauz (clarinet, alto saxophone, trumpet); Jerry Blake, Russell Procope (clarinet, alto saxophone); Leslie Yahonikan (bass clarinet, baritone saxophone); Ernie Henry, Hilton Jefferson, Johnny Jackson, Bill Frazier (alto saxophone); Chu Berry, Gene Ammons, Warren Luckey, Joe Gayles, George Nicholas, Stan Getz , Teddy Hill, Walter Thomas, Yusef Lateef, Benny Golson, Ray Abrams (tenor saxophone); Pee Wee Moore (baritone saxophone, trombone); Leo Parker, Al Gibson, Cecil Payne (baritone saxophone); Manny Duran, Paul Gonzalez, Victor Paz (trumpet, flugelhorn); Talib Dawud, Dave Burns, Matthew McKay, Ermet Perry, Gail Brockman, Shorty McConnell, Lammar Wright, Jr., Raymond Orr, Bill Dillard, Kenny Dorham, Lamar Wright, Shad Collins, Benny Bailey, Benny Harris , John Lynch , Willie Cook, Elmon Wright, Carl Warwick (trumpet); Tyree Glenn (trombone, vibraphone); Taswell Baird, Dicky Wells, Andy Duryea, Gerald Valentine, Howard H. Scott, Gordon Thomas, Jesse Tarrant, Leon Comegys, Bill Shepherd Singers, J.J. Johnson , Ted Kelly, Sam Hurt , Keg Johnson, Al Grey, Melba Liston, Quentin Jackson, Barry Morrow, Trummy Young, Jack Jeffers, Lewis Kahn, Chuck Connors, Charles "Majeed" Greenlee (trombone); Ray Connor (bass trombone); Al Haig (piano, vibraphone); John Lewis, Dwike Mitchell, John Richard Lewis, Frank Paparelli, Sam Allen, Esko Linnavalli, Wynton Kelly, Benny Payne, John Malachi (piano); Jorge Dalto (electric piano); Dana McCurdy (synthesizer); George Mraz , Oscar Pettiford, Percy Heath, Ray Brown , Slam Stewart, Charles Mingus (double bass); Esko Rosnell, Chuck Lampkin, Irv Kluger, Joe Harris , Kansas Fields, Louie Bellson, Mickey Roker, Rudy Collins, Art Blakey, Shelly Manne, Teddy Stewart, Bill Beason, Charlie Persip (drums); Papo Pepin, Willie Bobo, Candido Camero (congas); Mario Grillo (bongos, cowbells); Frank "Machito" Grillo, Machito (claves, maracas); Gil Fuller (vocals); Herb Ellis, Kenny Burrell, Remo Palmieri (guitar); Leo Wright (flute, alto saxophone); John Coltrane (alto saxophone, tenor saxophone); Antonio Hart, Sonny Stitt, Charlie Parker (alto saxophone); Clifford Jordan, Dexter Gordon, Don Byas (tenor saxophone); Roy Eldridge, Arturo Sandoval (trumpet); Clyde Hart, Danilo P?rez, Lalo Schifrin , Oscar Peterson, Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell (piano); Milt Jackson (vibraphone); Cozy Cole, Kenny Clarke, Lewis Nash , Max Roach, Buddy Rich (drums); Teddy Hill & His NBC Orchestra, The Mitchell-Ruff Duo, Billy Eckstine & His Orchestra, Cab Calloway & His Orchestra.
|Any two-disc collection -- no matter how well-intentioned, as this one most certainly is -- that aims to cover a career 53 years long is going to be full of holes. That said, Shout Factory's handsomely packaged label-crossing Career: 1937-1992 tries hard. Beginning with Gillespie's tenure in the NBC Orchestra led by Teddy Hill, Diz can be heard alongside Dicky Wells, Russell Procope, and Howard Johnson tearing it up on "King Porter Stomp." Also from the early years are tracks that mark Diz's tenure with Cab Calloway and Billy Eckstine -- "Pickin' the Cabbage" and "Opus X," respectively. On disc one, the years 1945-1949 are particularly well represented -- there are a few cuts from just before Charlie Parker and Gillespie teamed up, and their time together is well considered here. There is also a version of "Birk's Works," from 1951 in Detroit, that stars a young John Coltrane alongside Kenny Burrell, Milt Jackson, and Percy Heath on Diz's own Dee Gee label. Disc two begins with a track from Jazz at Massey Hall and moves through the Diz and Getz set into the Modern Jazz Sextet with John Lewis, Sonny Stitt, Charlie Persip, Skeeter Best, and Percy Heath. Gillespie's big bands of the late '50s are documented here, from Dizzy Gillespie at Newport and The Big Band Sound of Dizzy Gillespie, as are his fine quintets from the early '60s that starred Lalo Schifrin on piano. In addition, the Machito reunion from 1975 -- conducted by Chico O'Farrill -- and dates with Arturo Sandoval are here, as well as a track from Gillespie's final offering, To Bird With Love. Sure, there is plenty to argue with here, about what is not included as well as what is. But with the fine digipack box, great notes by Neil Tesser, and a price that's mighty attractive, this is a fine little intro to Diz's legend. ~ Thom Jurek