Our man in jazz Dan Morgenstern has always distinguished himself by his happy ability to hear good things wherever he goes; his range is not limited by styles and schools. So it’s not surprising that he should be so fond of the “new music” that greeted him on his arrival in the United States in the second half of the Forties.
His recollections of Dizzy Gillespie, James Moody, and Tadd Dameron are not only tributes to their music, but to their warm personalities.
First, a brief soundtrack: Dizzy’s 1945 recording of Tadd’s GOOD BAIT (with Don Byas, Trummy Young, Clyde Hart, Oscar Pettiford, and Shelly Manne):
and, from 1971, the same GOOD BAIT as performed by Moody and Al Cohn, Barry Harris, Sam Jones, Roy Brooks:
Then, Dan’s very affectionate portrait of Dizzy, which ends up in Corona, Queens, with a famished John Birks foraging for snacks at a friend’s house:
Intimately connected with Dizzy, James Moody, another joy-spreader:
And finally, the vastly influential Tadd Dameron:
This post is in honor of my dear friend Doug Pomeroy, who — like Dan — continues to spread joy.
May your happiness increase!