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Midnight Snack

December 3, 2009

Jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie honors his student, who surpassed him. H/t

Midnight Snack is today’s apolitical post. (We all need a break from this political stuff every now and then!) When commenting on apolitical posts do not start political, religious, or philosophical debates. In fact from now on any serious debating comments on such posts will be deleted. You’ve got all of NewsReal’s other posts to get argumentative, lets keep this one pure. (Humorous debates about meaningless subjects are permitted.)

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  1. MRNEIGE permalink
    December 3, 2009 8:36 pm

    Miles had it right: “It ain’t what you play, it’s what you don’t play.” Dizzy never met a note or a flourish he didn’t like and the same can be said for Sandoval. Regrettably this is the reason Jazz suffers in popularity, The artists who practice this kind of playing are so busy being “artists” that the average listening public has no chance of connecting. Individuals who “dig” this kind of musical expression seek their cultural identity in the abstruse. The rest of us want to connect. There is a counterproductive ego at work in the technically over gifted. And that never produced soulfulness or invited anybody in.

    • Cas Balicki permalink
      December 3, 2009 9:40 pm

      I respectfully disagree.

    • David Forsmark permalink
      December 3, 2009 9:51 pm

      I actually agree. Of course, I can’t endorse anything Miles did from Kilimanjaro on…

      • betty boop permalink
        December 4, 2009 6:20 am

        A little beyond my daily listening range too, but lovely to see an artist being an artist, anyway, when he is that sublime.

        • F. Swemson permalink
          December 4, 2009 1:34 pm


          While you’re right that some jazz does go over the edge, this recording isn’t really an example of that.. You shouldn’t dismiss Dizzy or Miles based on any one of their later work, you have to go back to the high points in their careers to do that.

          If you want to hear some jazz that’s pretty avant garde , try listening to Thelonious Monk or Lennie Tristano..

          Ironically the one jazz artist who went the furthest out of bounds from the traditional structure of jazz, became a huge success, and is still loved by millions. His name is Dave Brubeck.

          I believe that much of the success of the more “atonal”, or far out stuff, and this also applies to abstract art as well, is that people with overinflated egos, with only a superficial understanding of music & art, tend to think that anything that they don’t understand must obviously be very profound and above them. Those folks are one & the same with the far left.

          In a lecture I attended about aesthetics that Ayn Rand gave in the early 60’s, she made a very specific point about this, in reference to a modern artist who when speaking of his own work said that he was happy that so many people got so many different emotions & messages from his art.

          Ms Rand said that he was a fraud. She went on to explain that art is a complex form of communication, and that an artist couldn’t possibly be successful unless his audience got from his work what HE wanted them to get from it.

          As to Miles, he went pretty far out later in his career, but to really know Miles, you have to listen to his best work, which IMHO can be found right here:

          This recording was the product of perhaps the greatest sextets of all times, including Miles, Coltrane on tenor sax, Cannonball Adderley on alto sax, Red Garland on piano, Philly Joe Jones on drums, and Paul Chambers on bass.

          And getting back to Dizzy, while Sandoval is great, Dizzy’s #1 disciple was Jon Faddis who’s featured with Dizzy in one of Dizzy’s classic pieces “Manteca” here:

          Jon performed at my best friend’s wedding some 35 years ago, along with Lou Soloff, who played trumpet with Blood Sweat and Tears. Those 2 trumpets playing together were absolutely heavenly.

  2. Albert47 permalink
    December 3, 2009 8:39 pm

    Super!!!! Thank you for including this.

  3. December 3, 2009 10:30 pm

    Arturo can STILL play – this was awhile back, of course.

    How about Maurice Andre? He’s played with Diz, and Wynton, and all the rest of them. He’s REALLY old now, but man…I’ve seen him in concert a couple of times, and even got to meet him about 30 years ago.

    A short chubby Frenchman – who is the greatest trumpet player that ever lived.


    In case the video doesn’t stick, this is an excerpt from the Telemann Concerto in D major.

    • F. Swemson permalink
      December 4, 2009 2:04 pm


      I assume that you know that Maurice Andre was also into jazz…

      In fact he’s also performed with Dizzy as seen here:

      The third stream jazz of the MJQ (the Modern Jazz Quartet) bridged the gap frequently with the world of classical music . They composed jazz symphonies that were played by major orchestras.

      Some of the quartet’s jazz works were literally performed in the style of a classical quartet.

      Other great classical musicians have dabbled in jazz from time to time. One of my favorites was Eileen Farrel, the great opera singer, made the leap, and when you hear her, it’s not hard to imagine her having become the greatest female jazz vocalist of all times, had she focused on jazz rather than opera. Check her out here:

      And let’s not forget that one of the most far out of all jazz musicians started out as a classical cellist..

      His name was Charlie Mingus

  4. Marylou permalink
    December 4, 2009 12:40 am

    THANK YOU. After a long day, this was very welcome.

  5. logdon permalink
    December 4, 2009 11:24 am

    During the Parker era Diz blew Miles away. No contest. After, Miles developed a slower style more suited to his ability which came to real fruition on Birth of the Cool and of course the absolute masterpiece, Kind of Blue.

    I’ve heard Diz and Sandoval and they are truly hot to this day. Comparison is akin to asking if Muddy Waters was ‘better’ than Howlin Wolf. To some, yes. To others, no. To some on one day, yes. On another day, no. It’s called taste and as long as we have the freedom to indulge why create argument?

    My collection is stuffed with Davis CD’s. Yet my first ever real ‘jazz moment’ when I actually ‘got it’ was listening to Diz. And, of course, Parker.

    Night in Tunisia recorded on the Massey Hall concert is why I still love jazz after almost fifty years of first listening as a gauche sixteen year old.

    Blue in Green is playing right now and I still get that ol’ tingle.

    Don’t knock it. This is stuff from a time where experiment met experience and the result is completely irreplacible.

    Without it, I can genuinely use the cliche of void, not just musical but the whole thing which goes with it.

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