Diz’s Groovin’ Too High

Dizzy Gillespie’s “Groovin’ High” is a “silent theme” tradition. Diz took an American popular song called “Whispering,” abandoned its melody, then wrote a new melody on top of the metrical and harmonic structure of the original composition. The tune kicks off with Diz and Bird (Charlie Parker) play in unison. The tagging between the two is awesome. After Bird’s marvelous solo, Slam Stewart’s bowing-bass improvisation is invigorating. Of course, Diz’s wailing trumpet on the high register is unmistakable. After guitarist Romo Palmieri gives his solo, Diz takes the tune out with a sudden turn to a much slower tempo. With the powerful way Diz blows, I could just see the huge puffiness on his cheeks.