Gerald Wilson: Groovin' High


Groovin' High


Gerald Wilson (leader)


Gerald Wilson and His Orchestra 1945-1946 (Classics 976)

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Gerald Wilson (leader),

Snooky Young, Hobart Dotson, Joe “Red” Kelly, James Anderson (trumpets), Melba Liston, Isaac Livingstone, Ralph Bledsoe, Robert Huerta (trombones), Floyd Turnham, Leo Trammel (alto saxes), Vernon Slater, Eddie (not “Lockjaw”) Davis (tenor saxes), Maurice Simon (baritone sax), Benny Sexton (guitar), Jimmy Bunn (piano), Robert Rudd (bass), Henry Tucker Green (drums)


Composed by Dizzy Gillespie. Arranged by Gerald Wilson


Recorded: Los Angeles, 1945


Rating: 94/100 (learn more)

Gerald Wilson's arrangement (the tune is based on the chord changes of the standard "Whispering") was the first-known big band setting of one of the anthems of the new music called bebop, and proved that his was one of the most modern bands at that time. Recorded for a small label named Excelsior Records, this didn't get much distribution, but was certainly heard by many listeners who embraced the most up-to-date trends in jazz. Solos are by Dotson, Davis and Bunn, the most boppish of the soloists. Wilson even includes a reference to "A Night in Tunisia" before the shout chorus.

Reviewer: Jeff Sultanof

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