Dizzy Gillespie - The Real Thing
One of two Dizzy Gillespie albums released on Perception Records in 1970 ‘The Real Thing’ is an album of mainly Mike Longo penned tracks and a line-up that reads as a who’s who of Stateside jazz and a meeting of musical minds.
Featuring long time Gillespie collaborator (15 albums together in total) James Moody on tenor saxophone with, amongst others, Mike Longo on piano, Eric Gayle on guitar, Phil Upchurch on bass and Candy Finch on drums, Dizzy’s trumpet vies with, dances with and interplays with the virtuoso playing of the ensemble throughout.
‘The Real Thing’ is an album of jazz and funk fusion that sits comfortably in the late 60s-early 70s experimentations in Black Consciousness jazz as created by label mate Larry Young’s output and Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew and On The Corner albums. This is no more so than in the one Dizzy Gillespie composition on the album, the funk rock fuelled N’Bani which heavily features Eric Gayle’s guitar work which in turn sounds like Prince had jumped into a time machine to play some licks. The Be-Bop and Hard-Bop are still there though as to be expected with Gillespie and Moody jamming together.
‘The Real Thing’ boasts two tracks that were part of the UK Mod-Jazz DJ staples in the 1980s in Matrix and Alligator, two tracks that also found their way into many a ‘Rare Groove’ set towards the end of that decade. The bassline heavy cover of Gershwin’s Summertime sounds sublime with Dizzy’s horn singing a plaintiff defiance. Yes, this is an album for Jazz lovers and it is also an album for dancers, for funkers and for collectors.