From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up?This biography examines the king of bebop's background as well as his impact on society and music, and successfully describes his struggle to create his own style. The narrative is filled with musical criticism and discussions of styles prevalent at the time. Gourse portrays Gillespie as a brave innovator whose abilities and kind personality appealed to many people. She seems to be intimately familiar with her subject and includes many quotations, but sources are not noted. Information is discussed thoroughly, but because of the amount of detail and number of names included, the book will appeal most to readers who have some background knowledge of music or interest in jazz. Two sections of good-quality, black-and-white photographs are included, and a short list of suggested listening follows the text. A solid addition for libraries that do not own Tony Gentry's Dizzy Gillespie (Chelsea, 1994).?Robin Works Davis, Hurst Public Library, TX
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 6-10. This splendid biography is the rags-to-riches story of a great American musician, teacher, and innovator who stretched the limits of jazz far beyond its boundaries. Gillespie's musical genius and lively personality were evident in his early childhood, and the barriers of poverty and prejudice did not prevent him from realizing his dreams. When he died in 1993, musicians and world dignitaries attended his New Orleans jazz-style funeral in New York. Gourse tells the up-and-down story of Dizzy's life, citing instances of Dizzy's problems not only with his hot temper, but also with his ability to avoid the drug and alcohol addictions that plagued many of the musicians in his circle. The author also tells a fascinating history of bebop's development and creates a picture of Gillespie's contributions to the civil rights movement in the U.S. Dizzy Gillespie's legacy lives on both in his music and in the many young musicians he taught and nurtured. Gourse's well-written account will enrich young readers interested in music, American history, and biography. Merri Monks