1993, Music

Birks Works: the Verve Big Band Sessions (1956, 1957, 1993) by Dizzy Gillespie

I recently listened to this band’s performance at Newport and was underwhelmed. It just goes to show you the power of mood. I guess just wasn’t in the mood and I imagined the Newport show as some kind of semi-modernist response to Ellington’s Newport show of the year before. I think I was over-thinking.

Here we get that music plus lots of other music. And in theory I should like the live concert better because, um, you know, it’s jazz. Live jazz is supposed to be better than recorded jazz. And I generally agree with that. But I find myself liking this more than the Newport show and I wonder, was it my mood at the time? Is it my mood now? Do I just prefer this because it’s “complete” and I’m a completist?

Whatever the reason, I find this far more compelling and I don’t really know why. That’s okay. This isn’t anywhere near as progressive as I feel like big band should be in ’56-’57 but they generally win me over anyway.

It’s far from essential in my mind – which is not what allmusic will tell you – but it’s still good stuff especially if you either like Gillespie or big band (or both).

8/10

All compositions by Dizzy Gillespie except as indicated

  1. “Jordu” (Duke Jordan) – 4:13
  2. “Birks’ Works” – 4:56
  3. “Umbrella Man” (Vincent Rose, Larry Stock, James Cavanaugh) – 3:02
  4. “Autumn Leaves” (Joseph Kosma, Jacques Prévert, Johnny Mercer) – 3:11
  5. “Tangerine” (Victor Schertzinger, Mercer) – 3:43
  6. “Over the Rainbow” (Harold Arlen, Yip Harburg) – 4:37
  7. “Yo No Quiero Bailar” (Joe Willoughby) – 4:42
  8. “If You Could See Me Now” (Tadd Dameron, Carl Sigman) – 3:30
  9. “Left Hand Corner” (Ernie Wilkins) – 2:26
  10. “Whisper Not” (Benny Golson, Leonard Feather) – 5:17

CD Compilation Reissue

Disc One:

  1. “Dizzy’s Business” (Wilkins) – 3:37 Originally released on World Statesman
  2. “Hey Pete! Let’s Eat More Meat” (Gillespie, Buster Harding, Lester Peterson) – 5:39 Originally released on Dizzy in Greece
  3. “Jessica’s Day” (Quincy Jones) – 4:50 Originally released on World Statesman
  4. “Tour de Force” – 5:04 Originally released on World Statesman
  5. “I Can’t Get Started” (Vernon Duke, Ira Gershwin) – 2:55 Originally released on World Statesman
  6. “Stella by Starlight” (Ned Washington, Victor Young) – 4:07 Originally released on World Statesman
  7. “Doodlin'” (Horace Silver) – 3:56 Originally released on World Statesman
  8. “A Night in Tunisia” – 5:34 Originally released on World Statesman
  9. “The Champ” – 4:42 Originally released on World Statesman
  10. “Yesterdays” (Otto Harbach, Jerome Kern) – 3:46 Originally released on Dizzy in Greece
  11. “Tin Tin Deo” (Gil Fuller, Gillespie, Chano Pozo) – 4:17 Originally released on Dizzy in Greece
  12. “Groovin’ for Nat” (Wilkins) – 3:21 Originally released on Dizzy in Greece
  13. “My Reverie” (Larry Clinton, Claude Debussy) – 2:52 Originally released on World Statesman
  14. “Dizzy’s Blues” (Ahmad Kharab Salim) – 2:32 Originally released on World Statesman
  15. “Annie’s Dance” (Melba Liston) – 4:05 Originally released on Dizzy in Greece
  16. “Cool Breeze” (Dameron, Billy Eckstine, Gillespie) – 4:55 Originally released on Dizzy in Greece
  17. “School Days” (Will D. Cobb, Gus Edwards) – 4:23 Originally released on Dizzy in Greece
  18. “Jordu” (Jordan) – 4:13
  19. “Yo No Quiero Bailar” (Willoughby) – 4:42

Disc Two:

  1. “Birk’s Works” – 4:56
  2. “Autumn Leaves” (Kosma, Mercer, Prevert) – 3:11
  3. “Tangerine” (Mercer, Schertzinger) – 3:43
  4. “Over the Rainbow” (Arlen, Harburg) – 4:37
  5. “Umbrella Man” (Cavanaugh, Rose, Stock) – 3:02
  6. “If You Could See Me Now” (Dameron, Sigman) – 3:30
  7. “Left Hand Corner” [alternate take] (Wilkins) – 0:13 Previously unreleased
  8. “Left Hand Corner” [alternate take] (Wilkins) – 2:26 Previously unreleased
  9. “Left Hand Corner” [alternate take] (Wilkins) – 2:16 Previously unreleased
  10. “Left Hand Corner” [alternate take] (Wilkins) – 0:10 Previously unreleased
  11. “Left Hand Corner” [master take] (Wilkins) – 2:22
  12. “Whisper Not” [alternate take] (Golson, Feather) – 5:52 Previously unreleased
  13. “Whisper Not [alternate take] (Golson, Feather) – 5:08 Previously unreleased
  14. “Whisper Not [master take] (Golson, Feather) – 5:17
  15. “Stablemates” (Golson) – 4:12 Originally released on Dizzy in Greece
  16. “That’s All” (Alan Brandt, Bob Haymes) – 3:13 Originally released on Dizzy in Greece
  17. “Groovin’ High” [master take] – 3:53 Originally released on Dizzy in Greece
  18. “Mayflower Rock” [alternate take] (Lee Brown) – 3:17 Previously unreleased
  19. “Mayflower Rock” [master take] (Brown) – 3:14 Originally released as 45rpm single B-side
  20. “Joogie Boogie” – 4:14 Originally released as 45rpm single
  21. “I Remember Clifford” (Golson) – 4:15
  22. “You’ll Be Sorry” – 2:17 Previously unreleased
  23. “Wonder Why” (Nicholas Brodszky) – 3:51 Previously unreleased

Personnel on original LP and CD Compilation Reissue Disc One, tracks 18 & 19 and Disc Two, tracks 1-21:

  • Dizzy Gillespie – trumpet, arranger
  • Talib Daawud, Lee Morgan, Ermit V. Perry, Carl Warwick – trumpet
  • Melba Liston – trombone, arranger
  • Al Grey, Rod Levitt – trombone
  • Ernie Henry, Jimmy Powell – alto saxophone
  • Benny Golson – tenor saxophone, arranger
  • Billy Mitchell – tenor saxophone
  • Billy Root – baritone saxophone
  • Wynton Kelly – piano
  • Paul West – bass
  • Charlie Persip – drums
  • Austin Cromer – vocals (on “Over the Rainbow”, “You No Quiero Bailer”, “If You Could See Me Now” and
  • “Mayflower Rock”)
  • Ernie Wilkins – arranger

Recorded in New York City on April 7 & 8, 1957

Personnel on CD Compilation Reissue Disc One, tracks 1-17

  • Dizzy Gillespie – trumpet, vocals
  • Joe Gordon, Quincy Jones, Ermit V. Perry, Carl Warwick – trumpet
  • Rod Levitt, Melba Liston, Frank Rehak – trombone
  • Jimmy Powell, Phil Woods – alto saxophone
  • Billy Mitchell, Ernie Wilkins – tenor saxophone
  • Marty Flax – baritone saxophone
  • Walter Davis Jr. – piano
  • Nelson Boyd – bass
  • Charlie Persip – drums

Recorded in New York City on May 18 & 19 and June 6, 1956

Personnel on CD Compilation Reissue Disc Two, tracks 22 & 23

  • Dizzy Gillespie, Talib Daawud, Lee Morgan, Ermit V. Perry, Carl Warwick – trumpet
  • Al Grey, Melba Liston – trombone
  • Ernie Henry, Jimmy Powell – alto saxophone
  • Billy Mitchell, Benny Golson – tenor saxophone
  • Pee Wee Moore – baritone saxophone
  • Wynton Kelly – piano
  • Paul West – bass
  • Charlie Persip – drums

Recorded in New York City on July 8, 1957

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