Dizzy Gillespie Talking Jazz
Dizzy Gillespie spends his life on the road. In the fifteen years that I've crossed paths with him, working on television specials, radio broadcasts, jazz conferences and even a live gig or two, he is always just coming from somewhere and is on his way to somewhere else. In spite of his incessant traveling, or perhaps because of it, he has managed to keep both his marriage to Lorraine and his well known sense of humor intact. The following conversation took place in the penthouse suite of a large hotel in downtown Chicago. There was a huge television set in the middle of the room with the picture on but no sound (mostly the news channel, but sometimes Diz would use the remote control to flip through some old movies) and from time to time, the phone would ring. On two occasions, calls came in from overseas. How did these people in Italy and Japan know where to find Dizzy, let alone manage to time their international calls to catch him at a good hour? Obviously, Dizzy Gillespie is at the heart of some kind of world-wide network. And as befits a man of his historical importance and cultural understanding, his vision extends far beyond the literal notes he plays. A devout member of the Bahai faith, which is opposed to all artificial international borders, and a high priest of bebop, Dizzy Gillespie is dedicated to keeping the channels open and the party rolling.