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Dizzy Gillespie – Free Ride (1993 FLAC)

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Dizzy Gillespie - Free Ride (1993 FLAC)

Dizzy Gillespie – Free Ride (1993 FLAC)

Artist: Dizzy Gillespie
Album: Free Ride
Release/Reissue: 1993
Genre: Cool Jazz, Bop

01. Unicorn
02. Fire Dance
03. Incantation
04. Wrong Number
05. Free Ride
06. Ozone Madness
07. Love Poem For Donna
08. The Last Stroke Of Midnight

Although Lalo Schifrin is justifiably praised for his soundtrack work, many jazz purists turn up their noses at his jazz dates, such as his ’60s work with Jimmy Smith and Wes Montgomery. The things that make Schifrin an anathema to the diehards — the huge orchestras, the pop and soul riffs, the general air of over the top theatricality — are all over 1977’s Free Ride, his reunion date with Dizzy Gillespie. (Schifrin had been Gillespie’s arranger in the late ’50s.) In fact, Free Ride is so painfully dated that it’s transformed into cockeyed cool, just the sort of record ironic hipsters should listen to while they’re reading the novelizations of ’70s cop shows that they bought for a bundle off of eBay.


Gillespie plays with his usual wit and panache, but most of the time, he sounds like a sideman on his own album; the real focus of Schifrin’s arrangements is the funky wah-wah guitars and ARP synthesizer solos that take center stage on tracks like “Fire Dance” (which sounds exactly like it should be the theme for a Charlie’s Angels spinoff) and the mellow disco of the closing “Last Stroke of Midnight.” Occasionally, Gillespie gets to break out on his own album, with the lovely solo on “Love Poem for Donna” his particular standout. For what it is, Free Ride is really quite good (guests include Lee Ritenour and future star Ray Parker, Jr.), but it’s very much a record of and for its time.

Bass – Wilton Felder
Drums – Ed Greene
Electric Guitar – Lee Ritenour, Wah Wah Watson, Ray Parker Jr.
Electric Piano, Piano – Sonny Burke
Flute – Jerome Richardson, James Horn
Percussion – Paulinho Da Costa
Saxophone – Ernie Watts, James Horn
Soloist, Trumpet – Dizzy Gillespie
Trombone – Lew McCreary
Trumpet – Jack H. Laubach, Oscar Brashear