|Dizzy Reece in New York (1959-2006)...|
In 2006 Dizzy recorded a new CD "Nirvana - The Zen of the Jazz Trumpet", the publicity for which included a long description of Dizzy's life in New York......
Reece made his professional debut at age 14, and has performed with hundreds of musicians individually and collectively including the cream of the jazz world: Woody Herman, Buddy Rich, Dizzy Gillespie, Kenny Clarke,
Don Byas, Dexter Gordon, Johnny Griffin, John Coltrane, Philly Joe Jones, Elvin Jones, Red Garland, Machito,
Billy Taylor, as well as a host of other great artists. Since his debut in 1953 as leader with his first recording, A New Star, Reece who has spent the greater part of his career as a New Yorker, has performed internationally as leader, soloist, and sideman in many of the popular clubs, in concerts, on radio, television,
films, festivals, educational institutions as well as a myriad of other musical experiences--from weddings, bar
mitvahs to concert orchestras.
He has spent many uncomprimising years refining the art to which he is totally committed. A prolific composer, arranger-orchestrator, Reece is truly respected as one of the very few great musical trumpet players in the world today. His recordings shows the mastery of the instrument as it truly communicate the unique message of the trumpet, profiling a musical language that has been in transition since jazz trumpet playing had its inception. Dizzy Reece began building and communicating his personal musical vocabulary at an early age. Which by now, has become a major voice in the annals of trumpet playing from Buddy Bolden--Louis Armstrong, to the youngest of the neophytes on the current scene. Reece considers the trumpet to be a royal instrument, if ever there was one... It is with having the awesome experience of being conversant with the musical vocabulary of so many great musicians that has enabled Reece to develop his own personal musical vocabulary within the renowned art of improvidsation. ..As Ira Gitler quoted in his linear notes for Reece"s 1960 Blue Note recording, Soundin' Off: "His (Reece's) ideas do not come from excercise books". Unquote. This is most evident in the trumpeter's work. His musical vocabulary does not espouse the standard cliches employed by most improvisors. However, his harmonic inventions are rooted in the tenets of jazz...mostly expressed in the feeling of his performances. Reece contends that although music is one part talent and two parts intelligence, the cerebral should never outweigh the emotions. They must strike that sacred balance that is contested in art. This is the essence of soul. He claims.
The trumpet playing career of Dizzy Reece has allowed him to absorb the musical talents of the hundreds of musicians with whom he has played individually and collectively, superficially and intimately, from his early brass band days to some of his latest experience with the late Clifford Jordan big band and his recent community efforts as a producer for Manhattan Neigborhood Network TV with his weekly presentations of Landmark video jazz films...Highlights from the Annual New York Jazz Festival which Reece organized and produced in October of 1978--dedicated to Lester Young and Charlie Parker "two grandmasters whose energies have stoutly contributed to the music that made New York City the mecca of jazz."
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A seasoned film buff from youthful years, Reece aspired to be a film director. In 1967 he created a 30-minute documentary film called The Pressure Cooker By Night, an all-night impression of Manhattan and Harlem streets and places...which he hopes to duplicate currently. In some of his performances his quintet provides the live soundtrack for this film.
Reece considers his performances whether in clubs, concerts or otherwise, to be a theatrical effort. For him, life is one big theatre, and therefore his music cannot be divorced from life. "Music is my life" he asserts. In addition to his brilliance as a trumpeter, Reece has functioned as a journalist, prose writer, poet, having written (published articles); abstractions, poems, short stories, screenplays (unpublished). Educational publications includes Contemporary Jazz Drum Suite (1966), Basic Jazz Bass Rhythm And Blues; Swinging the Scales and other method books. (1997); Encyclopedia of Black Brass/Black Reeds-- 1860-1999. His paintings have been exhibited with his music.
Dizzy Reece has been a host and guest on many radio programs nationally and internationally.
His compositions include dramatic film and theatre music to bed-time music. 1950s Reece appeared on three soundtrack music for British films. 1958 his improvised film score for the MGM movie Nowhere To Go (George Nader-- Maggie Smith) was an innovative performance for modern jazz in films in England. Since its release in 1958 the film has been continuously shown internationally with its performance as a "Hollywood Classic" on TNT in 1993. Albeit, currently immitated in film and television scores.
As a recording artist, Reece's discography sustains some forty-six years of improvisation. Every one a meaningful statement in the art of improvisation. (October, 1999, Blue Note released for the first time-- recorded July,1960, CD as one of their "Legendary Artists"). .His 1978 album Manhattan Project, recieved rave reviews (no hype) internationally, including Downbeat Magazine"s 5-star rating. He has also done a substanial body of recordings including his arranged compositions for radio stations in Europe featuring his arranged compositions. Considering that there are now six billion people inhabiting the planet--with only a comparatively minute percentage of trumpet players in the professional world today, Reece defines his role in the scheme of life as that of a very special artist. His credibility as a musician certainly supports these observations. Perhaps I could have prostituted myself more as a recording artist. He says. His most recent release, Nirvana-The Zen of the Jazz Trumpet, may very well have some bearing on this statement.
Dizzy Reece discography...
Dizzy Reece Jazz Monthly (1959)...