"Manteca" opens with the magical voice of Dizzy Gillespie with a brief bon mot and as he kicks off the band in his inimitable style, the listener is blown away as this band just rocks the universe with power and swing. Dizzy Gillespie's solo is proof positive of his status as the most comprehensive and creative trumpet player on the face of the earth. Soaring and swooping, rapid fire phrases melt into beautiful little melodies with consummate ease as he ideates like a sorcerer waving his wand and generating a promethean aurora borealis in sound. This tune has none of the somewhat repetitive flavor of most Latin music in which a non melodic (sometimes rebarbative) Conguero dominates the overall listenability of the composition.
A lady, upon being introduced to Dizzy Gillespie said, "Mr. Gillespie, I am honored to meet you" Diz replied in his most courtly fashion, "Madam, you may call me John" ..(All of the cognoscenti call him a genius of major importance) This tune will bear witness to the fact that John Birks Gillespie was the greatest Trumpet player that ever walked on God's green earth. Like Mama's fried chicken, it gets no better.
Ella Fitzgerald, blessed with absolute pitch and unparalleled vocal clarity, swings cooly on the tune "Slap That Bass" ..Cute lyrics and Ella's delivery will make a toe tapper out of a tapped toe.
"Angel Eyes" is a fine ballad in its own right, but when Miss Ella Fitzgerald sings it, it becomes a thing of infinite beauty. Her tone is as clear as an Austrian lake, her enunciation is without peer. The vocalists of today like the remarkable Nancy Kelly count Fitzgerald among their influences.
The music of Ella Fitzgerald will live on forever, not only in her recordings but in the music of the contemporary singers of today.
Astrud Gilberto, will melt your heart with her sensuous rendition of "Here's That Rainy Day" Gilberto pitches out nicely and her soft tone is most fitting for this tune. If this song doesn't move the listener and send a pang of sweet romanticism to the soul, nothing will.This is an outstanding album that has a permanent place in my Disc-O-File.