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Dizzy Goes Hollywood
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Latin Music
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A Pleasant Surprise from "Hollywood"
Michael B. Richman | Portland, Maine USA | 04/01/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"At first glance, "Dizzy Goes Hollywood" looks like the jazz equivalent of a major studio flop -- the trumpeter finally sells out in Tinsel Town performing arrangements of movie themes. But surprisingly, it is a delightful album! This 1963 session originally made for Philips, and now reissued in the Verve "Originals" series, features various songs from movies of the day. Some themes are now standards like "Days of Wine and Roses" and "Moon River," others are from cinema classics like "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Lolita," and most of the remainders are from long forgotten films like "Mondo Cane" and "Picnic." They have all been arranged intelligently by Billy Byers, and are performed by a solid quintet of James Moody on sax and reeds, Kenny Barron on piano, Chris White on bass and Rudy Collins on drums. (The liner notes do not provide this information, I had to find it elsewhere, which is one draw back to many of the "Originals" reissues and their original album art concept.) Most tunes are short -- at or under three minutes each -- but they are fast-paced and well-edited, like a good action flick. However, the album's best track, "Walk on the Wild Side," is the one where Dizzy's group is allowed to stretch out the most, and at just over seven minutes it is an epic by contrast. With this disc, the great trumpeter shows that going "Hollywood" doesn't always have to be bad."