I want to thank everyone for the beautiful birthday wishes. It was and is uplifting and each one was greatly appreciated and felt. Today is Dizzy Gillespie's birthday.
He was one of our very greatest, valuable and unique jazz people. From his embouchure to his way of speaking to his way of weaving a story, Diz was an original. Not only an unsurpassed trumpeter and innovator, Dizzy was a great dancer, teacher, wit, and spiritual presence. He believed in consolidating musicians and the music, in celebrating and extending its traditions and in bringing its enlightening impact to as many people as possible as often as possible.
We talked many times about small band vs big band.
He would say, "the big band has a small band inside of it…....losing your orchestral music should not be considered an achievement." Dizzy told me Louis Armstrong GAVE gifts on his birthday and that Pops once gave him a shoe box of excellent weed on that occasion. Dizzy was for real on his horn and in life.
In that birthday tradition of Armstrong, let's receive all the love, insight and excellence Dizzy put out here for us for so long and listen to some Diz today or read come of his 'To Be or Not to Bop'.
Happy birthday Diz.