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When Dizzy Gillespie put his hat in the ring for President of the United States in 1964, he also offered to be the first African-American astronaut, just in case they couldn’t find anyone else. In making Dizzy Atmosphere, Dave Douglas’s tribute to the great trumpeter, composer and humanist, Douglas said he wanted to explore Dizzy’s experimental and wide open mind as well as the influence of his music.
This album shines a light on the whole legacy of Gillespie, one of America’s finest artists. The original music Douglas wrote swings and shimmers with a grace reminiscent of the great man. Dizzy Atmosphere also contains several imaginative arrangements of Gillespie compositions, including reinterpretations of two key Gillespie tunes “Manteca” and “Pickin’ the Cabbage.” Douglas’s band is also remarkable, featuring fellow trumpeter Dave Adewumi, recent winner of the Carmine Caruso Competition, along with pianist Fabian Almazan, guitarist Matt Stevens, bassist Carmen Rothwell, and drummer Joey Baron.
Like his previous explorations of the influential music of Mary Lou Williams, Wayne Shorter, and Booker Little, this album is sure to inspire listeners to hear the music of Dizzy Gillespie in a new and interesting ways.