Dizzy Gelespie (John Birks Gillespie) Essay

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The people of today, raised by the sounds of The Beatles and Pearl Jam have forgotten all about the musicians that paved the way for these artists, and the musical styles that evolved into rock and roll, rhythm and blues and rap or hip hop. Unfortunately the music that once dominated the night clubs, restaurants, and radio stations is now heard only in elevators or when we go to a grandparents house to visit. What is left of jazz are small portions of the music that people take and sample with in a new song. Jazz and its historical figures have mistreated and forgotten by today's society. One of the figure most forgotten is John Birks Gillespie, known to the jazz world as "Dizzy" Gillespie.

"Dizzy" Gillespie was a
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Gillespie admired the style and work of Roy Elridge so much that he started to sound like Elridge. Some time later Gillespie was hired in a band because he played with Elridge=s style so well. In his studies he would transcribe or learn the notes and phrases that Elridge would play during his solos (Powis, 58). Although to become a Jazz musician, Gilllespie did not idolize only jazz musicians, he also greatly enjoyed listening to and examining the styles of musicians like Stravinsky, a virtuoso composer of the classic period, and Maurice Ravel another composer, famous for works like "Bolero", a piece that consisted of a phrase that repeated over and over, each time getting louder and thicker (Powis, 58).

Dizzy unfortunately was to be later recognized by many for his many distinguishable trademarks instead of the musical proficiency he worked so hard for. He was famous for his sense of humor. At a performance Dizzy asked the audience if he could introduce the band. The audience replied swiftly "yes". He than began introducing the saxophone player to the drummer and the trumpet player to the trombonist and so forth (Wastrous, January 17). He also expressed his incredible humor within his music as well. In his own interpretation of the spiritual, "Swing Low Sweet Chariot," Gillespie develops the song into "Swing low Sweet Cadillac." He had

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