Dizzy Gillespie - On The French Riveria

Dizzy Gillespie - On The French Riveria

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Culled from sessions recorded live in France and at a New York studio, Dizzy on the French Riviera marked Dizzy Gillespie’s first incursion into the realm of bossa nova (he had already been a pioneering force in the development of Latin jazz). The album features backing by small groups ranging from quintets to septets, and boasts such stars as pianist Lalo Schifrin (who arranged all of the music here), and saxophonist Charlie Ventura. By 1962 (and especially after the appearance of Stan Getz & Charlie Byrd’s Jazz Samba), a true bossa nova craze started in the United States.

It wouldn’t be fair to say that Dizzy jumped on the bossa bandwagon as a commercial move. He had been among the first to combine Latin (and above all Cuban) rhythms with jazz in the mid 1940s, adding spectacular conga drummer Chano Pozo to his band, and he toured South America extensively, playing with as many talented musicians from every possible style as he could find. Always interested in exotic rhythms from all over the world, Gillespie embraced Lalo Schifrin when he met him in Buenos Aires, and asked him to compose for his band, in addition to arranging pieces from other composers.