Louis Armstrong and Dizzy Gillespie were greats from two very different eras of Jazz history. Armstrong, considered the father of Jazz, helped create and popularize the style in 1920s New Orleans and was known for being a genius entertainer. Gillespie, one of the founders of Bebop in post World War II New York City and was known as an entertaining genius. However for one song, and one song only, they performed side by side together on the same stage and were recorded on video doing so. The performance was part of the fourth and final 'Timex Jazz All Star' specials. The shows were always had the best bands but usually were overbooked, leaving the viewer overwhelmed with star names but underwhelmed with star performances. However, There are several gems in the shows and this is certainly one of them.
A couple years ago, I interviewed Dan Morgenstern as part of my senior project in college, a documentary on Jazz Television shows (check in for more info on this topic in later Music Monday segments). Mr Morgenstern, currently the Director of the Institute for Jazz Studies at Rutgers University, is the former Chief Editor of Downbeat Magazine and a 6 time Grammy Award winner for album notes (among many other accomplishments). However early in his career, he attended this tremendous event in Jazz history and was able to offer me some on-hand insight on his experience during our interview, which I am proud to share with you.
Please enjoy both videos. Feel free to enjoy them in any order, but I suggest you watch the interview first to get some insight and background on the event, then watch the performance and enjoy!!!
Please check back next Monday for our next installment of 'Music Monday'
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