This film, recorded in 1982 at Lincoln Center, captures legendary jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie performing with his Dream Band, consisting of a wide array of jazz music's finest musicians, many of whom worked with Gille... more »spie during the evolutionary era of the early-'40s bebop period. It includes an all-star cast highlighted by pyrotechnic drum wizard Max Roach, Gillespie's protégé trumpeter Jon Faddis, and Modern Jazz Quartet cofounders John Lewis (piano) and Milt Jackson (vibraphone). The leader's crowd-pleasing persona, trademark puffy cheeks, and no-nonsense trumpet solos steal the show. Selections range from Gillespie's Afro-Cubop favorites "Manteca," "Tin Tin Deo," and "A Night in Tunisia" with master percussionist Candido Camero, to the timeless bebop compositions "Groovin' High" (with baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan) and "Salt Peanuts (Vote Dizzy)." Along with rare archival footage of Gillespie and his greatest musical companion, alto saxophonist Charlie Parker, this collection accurately captures the artistry that made Dizzy Gillespie great. --Eugene Holley Jr.« less
Terrific Performance from a Great Man and Performer
Robert Swofford | Austin, TX USA | 01/21/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I never had the pleasure to personally meet pioneer trumpeter, writer, arranger John Birch "Dizzy" Gillespie but I did see him perform in a small group setting on three occasions in the mid 1980s. I saw him perform twice at Eastfield Community College (Garland, Texas) and once at Caravan of Dreams in Ft. Worth Texas. Not only was he was a master and architect of Be-Bop, he was a man of great warmth, humor, honor, respect and dignity.Dizzy states in an interview regarding his playing on this DVD: "If I play something and make people want to dance, that's an emotion, you're reachin' way inside of them, (laughter) your not up here in the front you know like the intellect, you're reaching inside... When you hear somebody say Yeah! When somebody say that to you on the stage, it's a compliment. Yeah." Dizzy played music that way it was meant to be heard, by dancing or tapping your toes to it. He infuses the soul with the best humanity has to offer and kind of makes you feel good to be alive. I can't say enough about this DVD, good performance, all-star cast. If you love Jazz as I do, you'll love this DVD.If there is one thing missing on this DVD, it would have been nice to hear some interviews with audience members, some of whom probably had some good anecdotes and observations about this cultural hero."
Diz the wiz
Walter Goldstein | S.I ,NY USA | 11/17/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I attended this concert in 1982 and it was both electrifying and memorable. No superlatives are really necessary when describing these masters and sadly most are now gone. My only problems with this DVD release are that all of the music performed on that great evening is not presented here and that the tape pitch wavers a great deal. Most noticeably on Bags feature of Lover Man. It also saps the power and impact of John Lewis beautiful touch on the piano. In addition the audio and video are out of sync in several spots. I very much recommend this DVD due to the fact that you have Diz, Max, Bags and John Lewis on the same stage. Hopefully some day soon this will re-released with the care and content which it deserves. All in all there is much great music and humor here which simply exuded from the great John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie."
The performance cooks.
Tom Brody | Berkeley, CA | 03/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The title "Dizzy's Dream Band" is appropriate. A "dream band" is what is found on the disc. The picture quality is excellent. The sound quality is excellent. Many of the images feature closeups of hands playing instruments, e.g., hands on trumpet valves, or hands on congas, where each hand takes up one quarter of the screen. The camera lovingly rests on the "hand images" for an adequate amount of time (the camera does not rush from one angle to another angle). One particularly artistic shot shows Mr.Gillespie's (God) trumpet and hands (close up and out of focus) while in the background, and bracketed by Mr.Gillespie's instrument, is Mr.Mulligan in sharp focus (looking on and listening). The disc features Mr.Roach's lecture/demonstration of the high hat. It is the same lecture/demonstration that he gave in 1982 on the Univ.of Wisconsin-Madison campus, on a program that featured Richard Davis on bass. I would have liked to see more of Max Roach (also God) playing the drum kit, e.g., doing a 3-4 minute solo, but a developed percussion solo is not shown here. The disc also features Mr.Gillespie (God) and Mr.Faddis in an amusing "squeaking contest." A nice surprise was a cameo appearance by Paquito D'Rivera, whom I'd not previously heard. At the next opportunity, I shall purchase a D'Rivera album. There are no disappointments in the disc being reviewed, though the opening minutes of the disc, which features a hand-clapping duet complete with a Jew's harp, made me somewhat apprehensive, and concerned that the entire hour might consist of hand-clapping. The title is "Dizzy's Dream Band, and so as it turns out, what you see is what you get (wysiwyg). Is anything missing? Yes, I would have liked to have seen Sonny Stitt on this disc, as I'd seen him perform twice before at Keystone Korner in San Francisco in the late 1970s, and once in a tiny venue in Milwaukee in early 1981."
nevolo | San Francisco, California United States | 11/06/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Dizzy's dream band boasted some of the most prolific musicians in the industry at that time. Milt Jackson, John Faddis and Max Roach are smoking... The sound quality and image are fair compared to some of the newer DVD jazz releases, however not bad at all for the era it was originally recorded. Dizzy's vibe shines through with unique interviews and mini-jam sessions offering insight to the rhythm behind jazz and his Afro-Caribbean feel.
The next best thing to this album is his soon to be released "United Nations Orchestra" which hosts such Latin/Brazilian musicians as: Giovanni Hidalgo, Flora Purim, Airto, Paquito DiRiviera, and the incredible Arturo Sandoval."
More more more
Ronald Bingham | 06/11/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The DVD is way too short. I could have listened to the band for hours. They play real be-bop and have a lineup of the masters. Dizzy is in fine form, singing and playing (and the opening number is a hoot!). The band are clearly having a great time there."