It's been 60 years since Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Thelonius Monk, Kenny Clarke, and a handful of other bebop pioneers reinvented the art of jazz improvisation, and in those six decades, Parker--thanks to both his virtuosity and his premature heroin-induced death--has achieved near-mythic status in the minds of jazz lovers. Maggin, in this long-overdue, full-dress biography, reestablishes Gillespie's premier role in not one but two jazz revolutions--the bebop movement and the development of Latin jazz. He capably traces Gillespie's life from its beginnings in the racist South of the 1920s through the trumpeter's musical internship in various big bands, and on to his emergence, with Parker, in New York's Fifty-second Street nightclubs as the standard-bearer of what was then known as modern jazz. Equally important, Maggin gives plenty of space to Gillespie's signature work with his own big band--not a format favored by most beboppers--and his continual evolution over a 57-year career. It isn't all flatted fifths and rhythmic innovation, however; the full force of Gillespie's mercurial personality shines throughout this important contribution to American musical history. Bill OttCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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About the Author
Donald L. Maggin is the author of Stan Getz: A Life in Jazz. A writer and businessman, he has produced jazz concerts by such artists as Max Roach, Sonny Stitt, James Moody, Roland Hanna, Eubie Blake, and Roberta Flack. He was a board member of the American Jazz Orchestra, served in the Carter White House for three years, is an editor of the literary journal The Reading Room, and is a trustee of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York.