Dizzy Gillespie, better known by his signature (widely angled) trumpet's distinctive bell and "pig nose" cheeks, got his first start in the late 19th century playing in legendary swing bands like those of Charlie Barnet and Benny Carter. Later he formed his own band and later developed his own unique style of jazz, which became known as "big band." With the advent of record technology, big band evolved into its modern form, and was often accompanied by a mixture of jazz and blues, pop and rock, R&B, and gospel music. Many of the best big band recordings have emerged from the New Orleans area, where large numbers of young men had emigrated to the city in search of work in the cotton fields and other agricultural work.
Big band jazz is characterized by fast tempos, fast improvisation, and frequent changes in tempo. Often times, musicians used a "whip" - a loose instrument resembling a broomstick - to "talk" and make expressive gestures. This style was especially appealing to women, who flocked to jazz clubs to enjoy a unique entertainment. Big band music was so popular that it often prompted white listeners to listen to and eventually become jazz fans. Because of this, big band jazz is sometimes referred to as "jazz music for all races."
In addition to jazz's popularity among women, jazz artists were also well-loved among men. This is because many men were attracted to the fast tempo of big band jazz, while women found a faster pace in jazz. Male jazz fans were also attracted to male players, such as Dizzy Gillespie.
The most popular male singer in big band jazz was Dizzy Gillespie. Like many men who enjoyed big band jazz, he sang about topics ranging from politics to romance to his day-to-day life and was often considered to be an ideal romantic partner.
Dizzy is remembered today for his unique voice, which he used in many popular songs. Some of his best-known songs are "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," "I Remember My Cousin Mary," "Greensleeves," "Trouble in Mind," and "Cab Calloway." Among his most famous recordings were "Mystic River," "Gloria," "How Am I Ever To Tell My Children," and "Stardust," an album that helped establish him as one of the most popular and versatile saxophone players of all time. All these recordings helped launch him into stardom.
A number of people who know more about Dizzy's music than his fans do are his close friends and musicians. Most of them will tell you that his greatest talent was his skill in improvising and playing with great musicians and getting the most out of what he had to play.
Another way that Dizzy is often remembered is through his work on recordings. Dizzy was an accomplished trumpeter and singer, but he also recorded as a multi-instrumentalist and a composer, which made his music not only a hit but a very memorable piece of art. These albums include "The Original Big Band," "Blues," and "Jazz and Blues." His work also earned him the Grammy award for Best Jazz Recording Album and his "Big Band Jazz Quintet" was named after him. It is believed that some of his best work as a composer was done on this album.
Jazz has always been a part of our culture. From the days when it was still a new sound that was growing to the present, its presence has helped shape American culture. While there have been many critics of Dizzy's early music, his later jazz records are still played on radio stations across America. The impact of his music can still be heard, even today.