A biography of a jazz giant, this title appeals to jazz lovers and Dizzy fans. It has been reviewed in books and music pages of national newspapers e.g., "Observer Music Monthly" magazine. Dizzy Gillespie has secured his place in the jazz pantheon as one of the most expressive and virtuosic improvisers in the history of the music. But, he was much more than that. As one of the primary creators of the bebop and Afro-Cuban revolutions, he twice fundamentally changed the way jazz improvisation was done. And, he later extended his revolutionary reach by transforming the aesthetic of big band jazz. This vivid biography chronicles Dizzy's saga from the lowest rung on the American social and political ladder to the highest. Born black in fiercely racist Cheraw, South Carolina in 1917, Dizzy combined great energy, a furious drive to succesed, and a one-in-a-million talent to climb quickly out of rural poverty to a role among the swing era jazz elite before his twenty-first birthday.
Dizzy's story takes us on the road with the great Calloway, Hines, and Eckstine bands and to Cheraw's cotton fields, Harlem's after-hours clubs, the teeming 1940s 52nd street jazz scene, the rhythmic barrios of Havana, Rio's samba festivals, the White House, and the world's great concert halls as Dizzy teamed up with prodigious talents to make great music of a span of fifty-five years. It also records his spiritual growth over the decades and the intense love he earned from those close to him. Dizzy became beloved worldwide as an entertainer as he combined his electrifying musicianship with an infectious warmth and rare comedic skills to achieve a popularity that few jazz musicians have ever enjoyed.