Dizzy Gillespie: A Blue-Chip Jazz Act

By Roderick Nordell, Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, January 8, 1993 | Go to article overview

Dizzy Gillespie: A Blue-Chip Jazz Act


Roderick Nordell, Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


DIZZY GILLESPIE and his upswept trumpet could take you from Oop-Shoo-Be-Do-Be to the stars. "I am developing," he once said when in many ways (such as playing fast and high and logically) he was already unsurpassed. What he wrote about his great trumpet-playing predecessor Louis Armstrong makes me think of Dizzy now as the celebrations of his diamond jubilee last year blend into the tributes prompted by his passing this week.

Dizzy (as his fans always called him, he was born John Birks Gillespie) recalled the criticism that "Pops" Armstrong had received for being the ever-smiling entertainer despite his musical genius and the discrimination against black people like himself. Dizzy chose to see that smile - that readiness to connect with everybody - not as a weakness but as an achievement:

"I began to recognize what I had considered Pops's grinning in the face of racism as his absolute refusal to let anything, even anger about racism, steal the joy from his life and erase his fantastic smile."

It was much the same with Dizzy himself, who would respond to an ovation for a pyrotechnical trumpet chorus by batting his angel eyes and saying: "Not bad for a high-school dropout from South Carolina." (Which may be an exaggeration, because Dizzy said he was always learning something from somebody or something: "You see, you are the sum total of what you know.")

Or, in a routine emulated by many a minor jazz maestro, he'd announce, "And now, ladies and gentlemen I'd like to introduce the members of the band" - and then he would ostentatiously introduce the musicians to each other. He did sing "Oop-Shoo-Be-Do-Be" in the days of frantic, complex be-bop that he helped to invent, and then he'd exalt you with a tightly muted, whispering solo that concealed technique in pure emotion.

When I was introduced to Dizzy as, at that time, a correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor, he said: "Oh, would you like my religious views?" A quiet joke, but he did have religious views. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Dizzy Gillespie: A Blue-Chip Jazz Act
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.