The tone of Dizzie Gillespie and Sonny Sit's solos is notably more optimistic and cheerful. Dizzie Gillespie once again introduces some elements of Bebop into the context of his solos to enrich the more set harmony of the rest of the song. The end of the song actually features Dizzie Gillespie and OSnny Sitt singing along, really capturing the duet style of the song that was first introduced by the horn section.
While this is occurring, the piano plays a much faster rhythm, and is allowed to interject between the horn sections, rather than remain a silent back drop as seen in "Blues After Dark." The piano strikes sharp chords, even during the two horn solos. This sets a faster paced rhythm and lightens up the overall harmony of the song. However, the drums and bass once again take a more supportive role, allow the piano to be the center piece of the rhythm section.
"Lover Man" is a much shorter piece played at the same concert in 1958 in Belgium. Once again, there is Dizzie Gillespie on the trumpet, Sonny Sitt on the tenor sax, Ray Brown on the bass, Lou Levy on the piano, and Gus Johnson on the drums. The angle of this taped performance is set differently than the other two, and there is more light being cast on stage. This helps deliver a more up beat melody and provide an interesting contrast, with the piano at the center of the camera during most of the performance.
This is definitely in more Bebop style. It features faster and more complex harmonies throughout the piece. The solos of the horn section provide an interesting array of twists and turns that keeps the harmony upbeat and challenging. At one point, Sonny Sitt is left to himself at the end of the song, blurting out a complex array of notes in true Bebop fashion. Here, Ray Brown plays a walking bass, slowly moving the rhythmic section up and down to accompany the complex nature of the horn section's melodies.
The company seems to have just finished a quick break, as Sonny Sitt grabs for his saxophone off the floor. It is the same intimate setting that night on 1958 in Belgium. Again Dizzie Gillespie and Sonny Sitt make up the horn section, with Ray Brown, Lou Levy, and Gus Johnson being the rhythm section. It takes a while to get into the piece, but when they start it explodes in true Bebop fashion.
The harmony of the horns is loud, upbeat, and fast paced. It features a very complex harmony with a fast tempo, set by both the horn and rhythm sections. Unlike the other songs, where the rhythm section is relatively generating only slow support, they are allowed to explode with their own fast paced energy and complexity in "Blues Walk." In fact, Gus Johnson is much more vocal here on the drums than the other three pieces played that same night in Belgium.
I have always had a love for Dizzie Gillespie. He seems to bring new light and energy into old songs, always adventurous in his love of Bebop and all of its complexities. Sonny Sitt and Dizzie Gillespie are a very good match with each other. They seem to know each other so well, and can play off each other's energy, generating a truly blended harmony. This concert provided a great sense of diversity in terms of harmonies and melodies explored. There were fast paced tempos, and slow melodic harmonies, all in one night. It really showed the range and understanding of the musicians present. However, I would have really liked to see more range coming from the rhythm section. They played mostly a supportive role in all the pieces examined here. Yet, I know that Ray Brown was one of the most prominent bassists in the Bebop movement. It would have been nice to see more of his complexities in solos and melodies presented in these pieces. Still, overall the performances were amazing. I really enjoyed being able to dissect them, and truly enjoy them…