The Kid Should See This

Dizzy Gillespie live on stage: Salt Peanuts

American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, composer and occasional singer Dizzy Gillespie peforms Salt Peanuts live on stage, likely at the Ontario Place Forum in Toronto, circa 1971. We love the fun audience warm up in the beginning. His singular, trumpet-playing cheeks appear at 2m05s.

dizzy gillespie

Some context and celebration from Arts.gov:

John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie’s effect on jazz cannot be overstated: his trumpet playing influenced every player who came after him, his compositions have become part of the jazz canon, and his bands have included some of the most significant names in the business. He was also, along with Charlie Parker, one of the major leaders of the bebop movement…

The year 1945 was crucial for both bebop and Gillespie. He recorded with Parker many of his small ensemble hits, such as “Salt Peanuts,” and formed his own bebop big band. Despite economic woes, he was able to keep this band together for four years. His trumpet playing was at a peak, with rapid-fire attacks of notes and an amazing harmonic range…

He took various bands on State Department tours around the world starting in 1956, the first time the U.S. government provided economic aid and recognition to jazz. Those excursions not only kept Gillespie working, they also stimulated his musical interests as he began incorporating different ethnic elements into his music, such as the Afro-Cuban rhythms he weaved into his big band arrangements. Never losing his thirst for collaboration, Gillespie worked with a variety of jazz stars as well as leading his own small groups on into the 1980s.

Watch Dizzy Gillespie & the Electric Mayhem on The Muppet Show (1980) next.

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