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DIZZY GILLESPIE: Swing Low, Sweet Cadillac CD Set
DIZZY GILLESPIE:  Swing Low, Sweet Cadillac CD Set from www.retrophilly.com

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Product Code: RPMJ02

Diz lived in South Philly early on in his career around 13th & Bainbridge and then went on to revitalize jazz as the leading force of be-bop. The four-CD set-- SWING LOW, SWEET CADILLAC-- is one of the most popular and enduring of Dizzy Gillespie's many recordings, a live session from 1967 with his working band of the moment, featuring the great James Moody on both alto and tenor saxophones, as well as flute. Dizzy had added a keyboardist with a Fender Rhodes electric piano, and a Fender bass to his rhythm section. Frank Schifano's vamping ostinatos on the extended blowing of "Kush" lend an Afro-Cuban funk feeling to the groove, pointing out just how much contemporary jazz and R&B owes to Gillespie's Latin breakthroughs of the '40s. Of course for all the surface similarities, rock and funk bands of that time weren't employing such complex harmonic devices. In addition, there's another rollicking Latin excursion on "Mas Que Nada (Pow, Pow, Pow)," the sweet shuffling blues "Bye," and a curiously refreshing ballad, "Something In Your Smile" (from the movie "Doctor Doolittle"). But the title tune is the centerpiece, with its Chano Pozo-like opening chants, its humorous take off on the call-and-response of the old spirituals, and a righteous boogaloo backbeat to fire up the trumpet-tenor exchanges. It is precisely this balance between good-natured fun and fiery, uncompromising musical intelligence that makes SWING LOW, SWEET CADILLAC such a classic.

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