Dizzy Gillespie: Groovin' High (1945)


Groovin' High


Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet)


The Dizzy Gillespie Story 1939-1950 (Proper Box 30)

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Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet), Charlie Parker (alto sax), Clyde Hart (piano), Remo Palmieri (guitar), Slam Stewart (bass), Cozy Cole (drums).

Composed by Dizzy Gillespie


Recorded: New York, February 28, 1945


Rating: 98/100 (learn more)

Dizzy Gillepsie, photo by Herb Snitzer

For his second recording of "Groovin' High" within three weeks and with similar instrumentation, Dizzy Gillespie stays cup-muted until the bravura finale, when he unleashes the open horn with which he soloed on his earlier session. Perhaps Diz's different approach stemmed from Charlie Parker's presence on this track. No need for Diz to emulate a 50-megawatt generator with the incandescent Bird on hand, and Bird's solo here is one of his brightest. Even so, "Groovin' High" remains Dizzy's showpiece, with a less ear- splitting but equally exhilarating solo. Aside from Slam Stewart's annoying hum-along arco bass shtick, this track is tremendous.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz

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  • 1 jridetroit // Aug 20, 2008 at 10:06 PM
    Aw, I always kinda liked Stewart's schtick, although he fits in here no better than Cozy Cole. Stewart must have been on a couple of hundred records in the years 1944-46, by nearly that many acts, both jazz and otherwise. I hope he made a couple of bucks, at least. In contrast, Clyde Hart and Remo Palmier(i) are on the same harmonic page as Diz and Bird here. Hart had a long history with Bird and especially Diz, including many hours up at Minton's and Monroe's. It's too bad he never really made the rhythmic transition to bebop. He was one of its harmonic founders. Sort of the Don Byas of piano, in that sense. You're right about Bird's solo: in a year when he recorded some of the most seminal choruses in jazz history, this one stands out, not only for its creativity, but for its restraint.