Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Dizzy Gillespie

  • The Giant [Prestige, 1973] B+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

The Giant [Prestige, 1973]
It's gratifying to hear how little the performing vitality of one of the creators of bebop has diminished over three decades; he's still making satisfying records. Personally, I prefer this twofer (a 1973 Paris session that features Johnny Griffin, Kenny Drew and Kenny Clarke) to the more recent Dizzy Gillespie Big 4 (done for Pablo Records with Joe Pass, Ray Brown, and Mickey Roker) because it stresses raunch and rhythm. But both albums are survivor's music: loose and quick-witted, almost untouched by the fierce inward turning that drove so many beboppers into one dead end or another. And that's probably just the reason that both lack the sense of conceptual urgency that hooked me on bebop. B+