Dizzy Gillespie: Manteca (1947 version)
Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet)
Dizzy Gillespie: The Complete RCA Victor Recordings (Bluebird 7863)
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