1 Dizzy Gillespie-Groovin’ High 2:44
2 Billy Eckstine-Good Jelly Blues 2:54
3 Bud Powell-It Could Happen To You 3:16
4 Milt Jackson-Evidence 2:34
5 Dexter Gordon-The Chase (Parts One & Two) 6:49
6 Dizzy Gillespie w. Charlie Parker-All The Things You Are 2:49
7 Dizzy Gillespie-Manteca 3:08
8 Thelonious Monk-Eronel 3:04
9 Fats Navarro-Dextivity 3:01
10 Bud Powell-Un Poco Loco 4:46
11 Howard McGhee-The Skunk 3:03
12 Wardell Gray-Easy Living 4:24
13 James Moody-The Fuller Bop Man 2:59
14 Al Haig-Yardbird Suite 3:06
15 Dizzy Gillespie-Cubana Be 2:43
16 Dizzy Gillespie-Cubana Bop 3:21
17 Tadd Dameron-Lady Bird 2:52
18 Miles Davis-Webb’s Delight 2:54
19 Charlie Parker-Klactoveesedstene 3:05
20 Don Byas-Mad Monk 2:42
21 Charlie Parker-Salt Peanuts 7:37
Moving backwards through jazz’s recorded history, as I did while hiking into the past from the contemporary epiphany evoked by Miles Davis in 1973, I came to the golden bebop moment very early in my investigation.
Prior to this my friend and mentor Dooz had played for me something from Charlie Parker’s Jazz at Massey Hall, and this didn’t register. However, when I heard Manteca by Dizzy Gillespie, available then on a RCA Vintage volume, I was blown away.
1973 was on the cusp of the flood of jazz reissues on LP which would come tumbling my way over the next ten years. At the time, most of the classic bebop sides recorded between 1945-1955 were not readily available. Still, some of the Parker Dials and live broadcasts were obtainable on small, low-end, labels. Then, soon enough, the dam burst and I could dive into the great catalogs of Dial, Savoy, Prestige, Blue Note, Musicraft and the like.
This meant a big swim in the glorious artistry of Gillespie, Parker, Powell, Monk, Jackson, Moody, Gray, McGhee, Navarro, Gordon, and many more–each of whom offered up golden moments in the birth of a jazz revolution. It was Dizzy Gillespie that rocked my world the hardest; my jazz radio show on WRMC-fm from 1976-1986 was named Groovin’ High in recognition of the glorious side from 1945.
In the history of music has there ever been such an intense upwelling of virtuosity across the spectrum of individual instruments?
This compilation doesn’t range beyond well-known masterpieces. If you’ve never received your bebop baptism, here you go.