Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Dizzy Gillespie - The Sesjun Radio Shows

A selection of tunes played by Birks at four Dutch Sesjun Radio Shows (1978-1988)
Y’ all feel like sardines?
Hans Koert

 The Sesjun Radio Shows by the public Dutch Tros-radio station seem to be world’s long-standing live radio shows ever, scheduled weekly between 1973 and 2004 on Dutch public radio. Thanks to my Akai GX-215D reel-to-reel recorder, I still have several programs in my archive.

Dizzy Gillespie en de Sesjun Radioprogramma's  Dizzy Gillespie - The Sesjun Radio Shows (English)


When I first listened to the new 2cd set with Dizzy Gillespie - The Sesjun Radio Shows I was surprised to hear that well known sound, especially the funky groove by guitarist Rodney Jones and Benjamin Brown – a déjà vu as it called, because it was one of the shows I recorded - an airshot from a Sesjun Show scheduled at De Speeldoos in Vught, a small city in the southern part of The Netherlands, March 1978.
At the Dizzy Gillespie - The Sesjun Radio Shows 2cd-set you will find a selection of four shows, all with Birks, (= Dizzy Gillespie) as the main artist: De Speeldoos in Vught ( 16th of March, 1978) – De Flint Theatre in Amersfoort ( 8th of February, 1979) -  Nick Vollebregt’s Jazz Café ( 22nd of October 1981) and, last but not least, the concert in De Tor (Enschede) ( 7th of January 1988)

Dizzy Gillespie – the man with that special trumpet with the bell pointing upwards and his remarkable frog-like cheeks, which both became his trademark, loved clowing: Please don’t clown out there, George Wein asked him once before a concert …..  knowing about his reputation …..  So Dizzy tried to hold back, Jeroen De Valk writes in the liner notes: Every time he was about to do something funny, he wiped the smile off his face because Wein was standing in the wings …….  Can you imagine what happened ……?

  • In The Dizzy Gillespie Story, part of the liner notes, Dutch jazz journalist and critic, Jeroen De Valk, introduces us to Dizzy Gillespie’s music, but also to his personality, his habits ( he liked Dutch snacks, like bitterballen and Dutch cheese ) and practical jokes ………….
The most remarkable concert selected on the 2cd album, must have been the final one at De Tor in Enschede, a city near the Dutch – German border.
Peter Huijts, producer of this small jazz club, was also Dizzy’s tour-manager while on tour for Dutch producers Wim en Ria Wigt.  Dizzy loved to play in Peter Huijts club De Tor, a concert broadcasted and recorded for Sesjun.  …. We are happy to be here for the first time – especially because the boss is Peter, Dizzy said in his opening words.  De Tor was jammed packed  and, as Coen De Jonge suggested in a recent article in the Dutch jazz magazine Jazzism, entitled Dizzy Gillespie in De Tol – Hompen kaas en bitterballen,  …. De aanwezigen haast bij toerbeurt moeten ademhalen.(= The audience had to breath by turns.)  Y’ all feel like sardines? Dizzy asked the packed audience in front of him  ….

The 2cd Dizzy Gillespie – The Sesjun Radio Shows is the fourth one in a series of  Sesjun Radio shows released by the Dutch Sound and Light archive ( Beeld en Geluid) and producer  - host of the program in those days - Cees Schrama.  Other albums in this series contain selections of shows by Chet Baker, Art Blakey and Bill Evans and more to follow ……..


 Hans Koert
keepswinging@live.nl
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Except a great trumpet player and scat singer, Dizzy Gillespie, nicknamed Birks, was a great entertainer, who could twist any audience around his little finger. His frog-like cheeks, his humor and his custom-made "bent" trumpet became his trademarks. He was one of the best known icons of post-war jazz. He played a dozen tiomes in The Netherlands and between 1978 and 1988 he joined four times the Tros Sesjun Radio shows. Fragments of these shows have now been released at a 2cd, entitled Dizzy Gillespie The Sesjun Radio Shows.

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