Dizzy Gillespie - Afro (1954)

Dizzy Gillespie - Afro (1954)

Quincy Jones Trumpet | (1-4)
Jimmy Nottingham Trumpet | (1-4)
Ernie Royal Trumpet | (1-4)
Leon Comegys Trombone | (1-4)
J. J. Johnson Trombone | (1-4)
George Matthews Trombone | (1-4)
George Dorsey Alto Saxophone | (1-4)
Hilton Jefferson Alto Saxophone | (1-4)
Hank Mobley Tenor Saxophone | (1-4)
Lucky Thompson Tenor Saxophone | (1-4)
Danny Bank Baritone Saxophone | (1-4)
Ray Concepcion Piano | (1-4)
Wade Legge Piano | (1-4)
Lou Hackney Bass | (1-4)
Robert Rodriguez Bass |
Jose Manguel |
Candido Camero Congas |
Mongo Santamaria Congas | (1-4)
Ubaldo Nieto Timbales |
Charlie Persip Drums | (1-4)
Rafael Miranda Percussion | (5-7)
Alejandro Hernandez Piano | (5-7)
Gilberto Valdez Flute | (5, 7)
Chico O'Farrill Arranger, Conductor | (1-4)

Tracks 1-4 recorded May 21, 1954 at Fine Sound, New York City
Tracks 5-7 recorded June 3, 1954 at Fine Sound, New York City

01  Manteca Theme
02  Contraste
03  Jungla
04  Rhumba Finale
05  A Night in Tunisisa
06  Con Alma
07  Caravan

Everything about this incredible Dizzy Gillespie LP screams "masterpiece". From the classic Manteca Suite (1-4), written by Cuban genius Chico O’Farrill, to the dionysian Caravan, to the incredible list of band members, a virtual who's who of Afro-Cuban jazz luminaries, right down to the stupendous cover art by David Stone Martin. If you enjoy your jazz latin-tinged, this is the one to go for.

This cd is a great moment in jazz history. The arrangements are perfect; the performances from this large ensemble are tight. A musical unit at the height of its ability playing a unique set of numbers. Dizzy's solos are unbelievable. Manteca and Caravan especially are powerful performances. One may have qualms with the version of "Night in Tunisia," as it uses flute as one of the lead instruments, but it's an interesting variation-- though you haven't heard it till you've heard Bird and Diz do it on sax and trumpet. The numbers are highly percussive, with an array of African drums going. It's intense, innovative and I've never heard another cd like it. ~ Amazon Customer

It's about 1:30 AM as I listen to a copy of Dizzy Gillespie's "Afro" that came in the mail today. The CD itself is a digitally remastered 24-bit limited edition release. I don't even really have a system nice enough to really take advantage of the sound. Still, my mind is almost meltin' outta my ears as I listen to this mindblowing marriage of "Afro-Cuban Vs. Afro-American" jazz.

I would say that it's like nothing I've ever heard...but that wouldn't be accurate. I grew up listenin' to jazz and so-called "latin" music as much as R&B and hip hop. It would prolly be more accurate to say that it's like nothing I've heard in years. And, in fact, I'm almost dumbfounded that I've never heard this album until now.

Dizzy Gillespie has always been one of my favorite jazz musicians, second only to Miles Davis--and it's an extremely close second. Dizzy's "A Night in Tunisia" (he's recorded several versions, right?), has been one of my favorite numbers since I was a kid. Tonight, for example, I'm now well into the 19th or 20th replay of the 1954 version on this album--and there's still two more tracks on the CD to go!

For years I've played the "if you had to be stuck on a desert island with ten albums, which ones would they be?" game with friends and acquaintances. I'm not even gonna torture myself over exactly who it's gonna be...but Dizzy Gillespie just replaced someone on that list tonight. ~ Paco Taylor