For their second CD, Gillespie's ex-bandmates and devotees team to play more of his famous repertoire. Trumpeter Jon Faddis, in a leader's role, has a sound influenced by Diz, but utilizing more high-end histrionics and fewer smeary lines, although both aspects are present. Chuck Loeb plays guitar on six cuts, saxophonist Don Braden on another seven; James Moody appears on Lalo Schifrin's "Gillespiana Suite," as does Slide Hampton's trombone on three cuts. Rhythm is capably handled by drummer Ignacio Berroa, percussionist Duduka DaFonseca, and bassist John Lee; Mulgrew Miller glues the band together with his ever-brilliant pianistics. Six of Gillespie's compositions are taken to heart by the All Stars. "Ungawa" is a hot samba with Braden on soprano, and "Ole" a guitar-led modal flamenco; "Algo Bueno/Woody'n'You" is led by DaFonseca's berimbau and Faddis, time-shifting from staggered funk to 4/4 swing, with Miller ripping it up in the bridge. The more obscure and slick "Winter Samba" sports tenor/trumpet countermelody, while the two tunes co-written by Chano Pozo are the bossa/rock/swing feature for Faddis on "Tin Tin Deo," and the warm montuno of "Guarachi Guaro," with a wonderfully economic solo from Hampton and group vocals urging all onward. There are also two Jobim tunes, the soft, trumpet-led bossa "Black Orpheus" and the unusual take on "Desafinado," where Berroa's rhythm is on one and three instead of two and four, and the horns seem to interrupt instead of falling along bar lines. Three of five movements of Schifrin's "Suite" for Diz are here: "Pan Americana," with ostinato bass and staccato horns, urgent Afro-Cubanisms and the scatter shield trumpet of Faddis; "Africana," a slow, processional mystery waltz featuring Moody's flute; and "Toccata," which displays Miller's urgent, choppy, repetitive piano, the pungent horns, and Moody's half-time alto sax solo. Representing Gillespie's goofy side is the cute, Harry Belafonte-like calypso "Barbados Carnival," penned and sung by wild storytelling island mon Chris White with background vocals. The band has now fairly exhausted Gillespie's best-known tunes, so a third CD might not be possible. But Dizzy's music is now well re-documented by his peer group of admirers. Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide
- World Fusion, Hard Bop, Brazilian Jazz, Bop, Post-Bop
- September 21, 1999
- Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All Stars
- Chris White (Vocals)
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