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Dizzy In Greece - 1956

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Dizzy Gillespie - Athens "Rex" 1956 -  

In March of 1956, bebop trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and his band embarked for Southern Europe, the Middle East, and South Asia on the first U.S. State Department Jazz tour. The urgency to strengthen the image of America in the Mediterranean led him to Athens for a series of concerts. And Dizzy, with his spell-binding virtuosity, arresting solos, and egalitarian sensibilities buoyed by playful humor, won over a wide variety of audiences.Greeks had been rioting in Athens in May 1956, protesting America's resolve to support the British in the struggle for Cyprus. Newspapers were asking why America was sending Jazz bands to Greece instead of guns. Dizzy's opening concert was staged for the same students who had just thrown rocks at the windows of the U.S. Information Service. Tension was high as the band started to play and students jeered. Quickly, an ominous silence fell. And then... as the band roared and swung, the jeers turned to cheers and the riot had turned to roaring approval with hats, jackets and other apparel thrown to the ceiling. The crowd was so taken that they carried Dizzy out on their shoulders stalling traffic in the center of Athens.
However, this record was not made in Greece. The performances and arrangements are excellent. 'Yesterdays','Tin Tin Deo','Groovin' For Nat','Annie's Dance' were recorded with the same personnel that toured Greece, but in May 1956.

Track listing

Side One:
    "Hey Pete" (Dizzy Gillespie, Buster Harding, Lester Peterson) - 5:39
    "Yesterdays" (Otto Harbach, Jerome Kern) - 3:46
    "Tin Tin Deo" (Gil Fuller, Gillespie, Chano Pozo) - 4:17
    "Groovin' for Nat" (Ernie Wilkins) - 3:21
    "Annie's Dance" (Melba Liston) - 4:05

Side Two:
    "Cool Breeze" (Tadd Dameron, Billy Eckstine, Gillespie) - 4:55
    "School Days" (Will D. Cobb, Gus Edwards) - 4:23
    "That's All" (Alan Brandt, Bob Haymes) - 3:13
    "Stablemates" (Benny Golson) - 4:12
    "Groovin' High" (Gillespie) - 3:53

Recorded in New York City on May 18 or 19 (Side One, track 1), June 6, 1956 (Side One, tracks 2-5 and Side Two, tracks 1 & 2) and April 7 & 8, 1957 (Side Two, tracks 3-5)

Last modified on Friday, 21 October 2016 16:00