Dizzy Gillespie: Manteca (1947 version)




Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet)


Dizzy Gillespie: The Complete RCA Victor Recordings (Bluebird 7863)

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Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet), Big Nick Nicholas (tenor sax), John Lewis (piano), Al McKibbon (bass), Kenny Clarke (drums),

Dave Burns (trumpet), Elmon Wright (trumpet), Lamar Wright, Jr. (trumpet), William Shepherd (trombone), Ted Kelly (trombone), John Brown (alto saxophone), Howard Johnson (alto saxophone), Joe Gayles (tenor sax)


Composed by Dizzy Gillespie and Chano Pozo


Recorded: December 1947


Rating: 96/100 (learn more)

Dizzy Gillepsie, photo by Herb Snitzer

The “Latin tinge” in jazz dates back at least to Jelly Roll Morton, who claimed it was the “right seasoning” for the music. But Gillespie’s collaboration with Cuban percussionist Chano Pozo on the stage of Carnegie Hall in September 1947 would have jolted Morton off his piano stool. Pozo would be dead before the end of 1948 – killed in a fight over a bag of marijuana – but he left behind a handful of classic recordings before his passing. None is more spectacular than “Manteca,” built on a relentless vamp married to a stately swing bridge. Gillespie plays with unbridled passion; indeed the whole band seems pushed into overdrive by Pozo’s presence. Not just the ‘right seasoning’ here – rather a total immersion in the fiery currents of Afro-Cuban music. Sixty years later, you can still feel the heat.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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  • 1 Robert Sewell // Aug 04, 2008 at 03:36 AM
    Good comment on the Latin tinge, and Manteca; suscinct; respectful ... right on
  • 2 Shirley A R Lewis // Mar 18, 2009 at 02:28 PM
    Dizzy put the African base of what we call jazz on the international plane. A true cultural genius. Manteca with Chano and company exemplify this! Praise and gratitude to Diz!