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Master Of The Horn

Genius, player, teacher, jester—Dizzy Gillespie was all that jazz.
T. Brooks Shepard
From the Print Edition:
James Woods, May/Jun 97

(continued from page 4)

Alto saxophonist Arthur Blythe says, "He always made me feel like he respected me. Even with his enormity, he never made me feel like he was looking down on me."

"He was a pioneer," said drummer Tony Williams, who passed away in February, a Saint Luis Rey, Hoyo de Monterrey and Cohiba smoker who played with Dizzy and Davis.

James Moody, who was at Dizzy's bedside when he died, says, "Everywhere I went for the first time, I went with Dizzy. Dizzy's impact is still there, although people might not realize it. Even now, I'll hear something and say to myself, 'Hmm, that's what he meant.' Not a day goes by that I don't miss him."

Dizzy ended his autobiography, To Be or Not to Bop, by saying, "The highest role is the role in service to humanity, and if I can make that, then I'll be happy. When I breathe the last time, it'll be a happy breath."

Rest easy, Diz. You're cool.

 

Producer, manager and writer T. Brooks Shepard lives in New York City.


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