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For Musicians Only Import

4.5 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, October 19, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

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The modern jazz revolution which came to be known as bebop was distinguished by a level of melodic-harmonic complexity and rhythmic brinkmanship which required the most elevated levels of instrumental virtuosity imaginable. As if to drive the point home, composers such as trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie crafted certain tunes to function as musical obstacle courses, which quickly separated the men from boys--without mercy. Such is the premise on For Musicians Only, save that with a driving rhythm section keyed by bassist supreme Ray Brown, and saxophone masters Stan Getz and Sonny Stitt on board as the other horns, there is no shortage of musical fiber. Brisk tempos and challenging chord changes are the order of the day, with Gillespie's anthemic "Bebop" setting a daunting standard. The trumpeter is in peak form here and on a riveting "Lover Come Back to Me," articulating breathtaking runs and high-wire rhythmic variations with all the fluidity of a saxophone, but with a tart, crackling tone all his own. Stitt, as is wont, plays with incredible speed and rhythmic articulation, and anyone who visualizes Getz as no more than the arbiter of cool tenor, should take note of this sheep in wolf's clothing's relentless melodic intensity on "Wee (Allen's Alley)." --Chip Stern

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Bebop
  2. Dark Eyes
  3. Wee (Allen's Alley)
  4. Lover Come Back To Me
  5. Dark Eyes


Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 19, 2009)
  • Imported ed. edition
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Universal I.S.
  • ASIN: B00000478F
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,674 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By B. Levey on September 25, 2003
Format: Audio CD
The story behind this from my Dad's (Stan Levey) point of view is that everything was done in one take no 2nd takes no over dubbing. He had spent the whole day recording for TV, Mission Imposible Mannix etc. so he thought a date with Stan Getz this should be pretty laid back.
Well nothing could be further from the truth he said "The count offs were breath taking but once they got thru BeBop everything settled down" his favorite was Wee Allen's Alley. It was virtually a live real Bebop session, nothing worked out, just play by the seat of your pants or get off the bandstand. Like it or not that was the way it was with Bird and those cats, the real thing no pretense.
Bob Levey
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Format: Audio CD
I love, love, love this album. You can feel an incredible energy coming out of this record. Bebop was a serious music business in those days. If you were a jazz musician then you should be able to play with these monsters at the breakneck speed presented here. And I think it could sounded scaring ... Today you can't find in a thousands jazz records the same energy, the same stunning musicianship you can find here in this 58 date. Previous reviewers stated some very true things about this album. Among them the fact that at that time computer didn't exist. This is what happened in the studio, first take. No overdubs, no clearings in the mix. This is it. They play at this level. They practiced incredibly hard to gain this level and we should be grateful they did because listening to them is an unbelievable music experience.
Second that the John Lewis rhythmn section is almost a neutral ground on which the soloists can be the most clearly visible. The combo did a stellar job in my opinion as a constant coherent base for the soloists and Stan Levey played here as one of the greatest drummers in Jazz. The three soloists are at the top of their game and I can't understand why some people tend to forget that Getz is another unbelievable technician. Maybe these guys have never had the opportunity to listen to "At storyville". Getz was not a "light feather" or a delicate player (not ONLY I mean...). He was a monster musician just as Stitt or Diz himself. Probably Diz here is the greatest, but it's not an easy task chosing who gave his very best among those three here. (.... personally I'm completly in love with Diz sense of drama and irony, he was, UNBELIEVABLE!!). Among the tunes I choose Bebop and Wee as the best here. Maybe Bebop first. It really is a perfect statement of what the new music was about.
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Format: Audio CD
Although I was aware from the beginning of Diz' duets with Rollins and Stitt ("Sonny Side Up"), this one passed below my radar screen until now--perhaps because my jazz peers in college were so dismissive of the music of white and/or West Coast musicians such as Getz, who is featured here along with Diz and Stitt. In any case, "For Musicians Only" is consummate playing, right up there with Bird's best as belonging in a time capsule for future generations to discover and marvel at.

Admittedly, the music on this recording isn't especially accessible. But like James Joyce's "Ulysses" it's representative of the "language" of jazz at its most sophisticated and complex. What counts on these performances excuted at headspinning speed (this CD must contain the largest quantity of "beats" on record) is the crispness of execution, the boldness of conception, the exhilaration of pyrotechnics.

The recording also clarifies for me the dividing line between the original bebop conception of Diz and Bird and the later "hard bop" reduction of it, or between an "open" approach toward creation vs. the "Blue Note style" that began to define so much jazz in the late '50's and beyond. The John Lewis-led rhythm section, even with the presence of Ray Brown, is no heating plant but an unobtrusive, practically transparent, canvas for the gladiators to do their work on. All three are at the top of their respective games. Stitt sticks to alto, content to reflect Bird's legacy rather than take on Getz (though to my ears neither saxophonist quite matches Diz).

I can't help but notice the integrated racial make-up of the group (4-3) at a time when color lines were still quite conspicuous in the music. All the more reason to regard the session as of historic and musical importance--perhaps not merely a mid-century representation of the potential of the music but a high-water mark as well.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
An exhilarating album from start to finish, Dizzy Gillespie teamed with Stan Getz and
Sonny Stitt for this genuine jazz classic from the 1950’s. Backed with swinging vascular
solos, For Musicians Only, released in 1956, showcase the harmonic, rhythmic concept
by Dizzy and the two tenor titans as they give a unique and timeless sound that is well-
headed by a stellar track list including a 12-minute take on Dark Eyes, Bebop, and Wee
(Allen’s Alley). Showcased with dazzling tempos, intricate melodies, complex rhythmic
breaks and vigorous jamming, which would be main part of the modern jazz movement,
Dizzy is joined on the front line by Getz and Stitt for the blowing session that resulted in
phenomenal results, as this tough swinging rhythm section distinguishes itself on a few
standards and original compositions. Basking with the success of his World Statesman
big band tour and his dazzling ‘Trumpet Royal’ performing with fellow trumpet titan Roy
Eldridge, Dizzy would take some well-deserved time off for several jam sessions during
the rest of the 1950’s, and For Musicians Only is one of those timeless albums that will
always live up to their own title, where it ranks as one of his greatest and most popular
masterpieces that will be greatly enjoyed for countless ages. What you will also get on
this definitive edition are four songs borrowed from the soundtrack of the 1958 French
film Les Tricheurs as they include Clo’s Blues and Phil’s Tone in which Dizzy and Getz
brilliantly had collaborated on.
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