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  • Birks Works: Verve Big Band Sessions
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Birks Works: Verve Big Band Sessions

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Audio CD, August 22, 1995
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$44.44 $19.80

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Disc 1:

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Dizzy's BusinessDizzy Gillespie 3:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Hey PeteDizzy Gillespie 5:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Jessica's DayDizzy Gillespie 4:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Tour De ForceDizzy Gillespie 5:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. I Can't Get StartedDizzy Gillespie 2:55$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Stella By StarlightDizzy Gillespie 4:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Doodlin'Dizzy Gillespie 3:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. A Night In TunisiaDizzy Gillespie 5:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. The ChampDizzy Gillespie 4:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. YesterdaysDizzy Gillespie 3:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Tin Tin DeoDizzy Gillespie 4:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Groovin' For NatDizzy Gillespie 3:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. My ReverieDizzy Gillespie 2:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Dizzy's BluesDizzy Gillespie 2:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Annie's DanceDizzy Gillespie 4:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Cool BreezeDizzy Gillespie 4:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. School DaysDizzy Gillespie Quintet 4:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. JorduDizzy Gillespie 4:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. Yo No Quiero BailarDizzy Gillespie 4:39$0.99  Buy MP3 

Disc 2:

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Birks' WorksDizzy Gillespie 4:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Autumn LeavesDizzy Gillespie 3:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. TangerineDizzy Gillespie 3:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Over The RainbowDizzy Gillespie 4:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Umbrella ManDizzy Gillespie 3:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. If You Could See Me NowDizzy Gillespie 3:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Left Hand CornerDizzy Gillespie0:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Left Hand CornerDizzy Gillespie 2:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Left Hand CornerDizzy Gillespie 2:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Left Hand CornerDizzy Gillespie0:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Left Hand CornerDizzy Gillespie 2:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Whisper NotDizzy Gillespie 5:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Whisper NotDizzy Gillespie 5:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Whisper NotDizzy Gillespie 5:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. StablematesDizzy Gillespie 4:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. That's AllDizzy Gillespie 3:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. Groovin' HighDizzy Gillespie 3:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. Mayflower RockDizzy Gillespie 3:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. Mayflower RockDizzy Gillespie 3:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen20. Joogie BoogieDizzy Gillespie 4:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen21. I Remember CliffordDizzy Gillespie 4:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen22. You'll Be SorryDizzy Gillespie 2:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen23. Wonder WhyDizzy Gillespie 3:51$0.99  Buy MP3 

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John Birks Gillespie was born on October 21, 1917 in Cheraw, South Carolina, the youngest of nine children. He emerged as a trumpet player whose role as a founding father of modern jazz made him a major figure in 20th-century American music. His signature moon cheeks and bent trumpet made him one of the world's most instantly recognizable figures.

Dizzy Gillespie was a featured and ... Read more in Amazon's Dizzy Gillespie Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 22, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Polygram Records
  • ASIN: B0000046ZO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #175,950 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Dizzy Gillespie was many things--a great bop trumpeter, superbly prescient vocalist, awesome bandleader, international ambassador, crowd-pleasing humorist, the ultimate master of ceremonies--all sides of his massive talent amply displayed in this cornucopia of Gillespie big bands. The set collects three individual albums from 1956-57--"Birks Works," "Dizzy In Greece" and "World Statesman"--some alternate takes, and a fascinating sequence of attempts at "Left Hand Corner" that shows the band's dedication to perfection. Some of the great players on these sessions include Phil Woods and Ernie Henry on alto saxophones, Lee Morgan and Quincy Jones on trumpets, Al Grey on trombone, Walter Davis Jr., and Wynton Kelly on piano with Charli Persip on drums. And, of course, since it's Dizzy's band, everybody sings. --John Swenson

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By N. Dorward on July 28, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Dizzy Gillespie always hankered to lead a big band, but like most post-war big band leaders he found that they just were no longer economically viable. His first big-band efforts, recorded on Savoy & RCA Victor, date from the heyday of bop; that band broke up, but this later band, from 1956-57, is made up of a terrific mix of hungry up-and-coming hard boppers like Lee Morgan, Benny Golson & Ernie Henry and other musicians like Phil Woods, Al Grey, Wynton Kelly & Joe Gordon. This band was decidedly a Cold War-era band: its three albums (compiled on this 2-fer set) were called _Dizzy Gillespie: World Statesman_, _Dizzy in Greece_ and _Birks' Works_, & the band basically survived by touring around the world, sponsored by the US Government. (For more information on Gillespie's bandleading & its background, the curious should look at Scott DeVeaux's marvellous book _The Birth of Bebop_.) After they returned to the US the band broke up in 1958--ironically enough, as an interview in the liner notes points out, just before their recording of "Over the Rainbow" became their first jukebox hit.
OK, so what of the music? Well, it's hard-hitting big band material, with charts by Ernie Wilkins, Benny Golson, Quincy Jones, Melba Liston & others. Surprisingly there's little material showing the interest in Afro-Cuban fusion which Gillespie elsewhere showed. There's a certain amount of throwaway material--silly nonsense songs like "Umbrella Man", or the disappointing "The Champ" which after a terrific Gillespie scat intro becomes a long drum solo for Charlie Persip. Melba Liston inexplicably provides the umpteenth jazz reorchestration of Grieg's "Anitra's Dance" and Debussy's "Reverie".
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By KaiserSozay on November 3, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This is probably the best and only real documentation of Dizzy's big band of the late 1950's available on CD today.
It includes all the material they recorded on three albums released back then. Along with live at Newport, grab this while you can.

I'm not real big on the vocal numbers, but that's just Dizzy and the band having fun - once the band kicks in, it makes up for it all. Why shouldn't it? with a lineup of Wynton Kelly, Lee Morgan, Benny Golson, Quincy Jones - and the list goes on and on of great musicians on this CD, it will dazzle you.

Dizzy is in top form - his playing will bring a smile to your face on every tune!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Eric C. Sedensky TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 1, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Dizzy Gillespie is one of the big, legendary names in jazz, but since he made so many recordings with so many record companies and artists, both in starring and supporting roles, it is really hard to pin down a "definitive" work that is not only entertaining and has mass appeal but that shows Dizzy at his musical peak. And while I have not sampled all that much else by Gillespie, I think I probably found the most appealing bit of his work right here. The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings: Eighth Edition recommends this as a core collection selection, and it's easy to see why. Dizzy and his big band play a wide selection of his original songs and jazz standards, even including some wonderful vocal numbers sung by male soloist Austin Cromer, female soloist (plucked out of the trombone section) Melba Liston, and even a couple with the whole band singing (which is very cool). This 2-CD set has 42 tracks on it, about two hours and forty minutes of swinging, hot, big band jazz music. The liner notes are thick and cover everything from the original album liner notes and covers, to detailed musician and soloists lists, to interviews and back stories. It's almost like a jazz history lesson. The music is really "up" and of course, it swings like you know a Dizzy Gillespie band would swing. The sound and production are great and they even covered the CD's with facsimiles of the original vinyl labels ("long playing microgroove"). Really, there is nothing to dislike about this set. It's some of the best jazz music around in one of the most user friendly, informative packages ever. Buy it with confidence.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nikica Gilic on July 19, 2006
Format: Audio CD
First class be-bop!
Fabulous music from 3 Gillespie's LP's (plus some alternate takes and previously not published oddities) gives a great insight in the methods of adjusting the big-band format to modern jazz. Constantly exciting, with just a few commercial tracks, this collection is essential to any fan of modern jazz.
Feel free to ignore the comments about less-than-perfect audio engineering.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "douglasnegley" on August 28, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Reviewer Nate Dorward has covered it well - all I would add is that another studio anomaly is the 'mysterious missing first line' in "School Days". Seriously though, for some real live fun on some of these same tunes from the same band, Check out the "Live at Newport 1957" recording. It covers a lot of this good territory.
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