Saturday, January 1, 2011
Hello and welcome, True Believers, to 2011. For my first post of the new year, I wanted to do something a little more personal, and well, positive. I thought about writing something on the comics I got for Christmas – but the only one I really liked was King City #12. And if I write about the end of that series I’ll just spoil it for those among us who haven’t been able to track down the back issues. Should I list the comics I got for Xmas that I didn’t care for? Nah. I’m gonna try and write only about things I like this year. I’m getting tired of reading “oh I hated it” reviews. So I figure I’ll just do one of my typically rambling posts about the only book I really did enjoy reading over the Xmas break. Please enjoy this riff.
The book is Dizzy Gillespie’s memoir To Be or Not To Bop. I’m a big jazz fan and this book really set the record straight that Dizzy was truly the founder of the modern style in jazz. It’s basically an oral history with lots of interviews with his contemporaries in the 1940s. Time and time again each interview reveals that it was Dizzy who taught the modern style to everyone else. There were plenty of guys playing the modern style – or trying to – but Dizzy would literally show his bandmates and friends how to phrase things on the trumpet, on the piano, on the bass, on the drums. Apparently he could play just about every instrument in the band and birthed this modern style that would eventually become known as bebop. (more…)