Song of the Day: Dizzy Gillespie “School Days”
John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie was a giant in the history of American music. He was one of the founders of bebop, helped spread jazz music around the world and had a prolific career that started in the late 30’s and continued right up until his passing in 1993. I was fortunate to see him once in the late ’80s (at the zoo in Cleveland!) and he did not disappoint.
This track comes from the world famous Newport Jazz Festival in 1957 and was released on the Verve Records release Dizzy at Newport. Gillespie brought an all star big band to the festival that year which included Lee Morgan, Benny Golson, Al Grey, and Wynton Kelly. Gillespie had been performing “School Days” since 1951, when scat vocalist Joe Carroll sang it, but for this performance Dizzy took over the singing chores and nails it. The Newport crowd loved it and so do I.
PS. Chuck Berry also did a great song called “School Days” (no relation).
The original version: