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to Be or not to Bop: Memoirs- Dizzy Gillespie

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  136 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Gift notes to flyleaf and very light shelfwear to jacket, tight and unmarked.
Hardcover, First Edition (U.S.), 552 pages
Published July 1st 1979 by Doubleday & Company, Inc.
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Average rating 4.22  · 
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 ·  136 ratings  ·  9 reviews


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Andrew Kopp
Mar 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a biography and autobiography in one. Stories are told by Dizzy and then retold from other famous jazz musicians points of view. It is wonderful to see how the same event is remembered differently! So this book is not just a one character biography. Anyone who studies jazz history must read this. To hear from the mouths of so many influential people is a cornucopia of insight.
Charles
Feb 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all jazz enthusiasts
Regarded as one of the best jazz autobiographies.
John Lyman
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a must read for those who appreciate music, musicians, jazz, and history in general. Gillespie was a true original who almost singlehandedly invented the Jazz genre known as Bebop. He was a world ambassador for music, for the USA, and for basic human civil rights. Told through his voice as well as dozens of other musicians, family and friends, this thick tome is packed with fun stories and snapshots of the experience of being black in a divided, literally and figuratively, country. He ...more
Bob Woodley
Sep 26, 2015 rated it liked it
This book needed an editor! Way too long.

But, many nuggets scattered here and there. He actually talks a little about the music theory (unlike Miles Davis' autobiography).

And he was a tough guy! He used his knife on several occasions to defend himself against white racists. And was clever and outspoken when confronting white power.

Always a goof ball, making inappropriate jokes, dancing like a nut on stage, falling off the stage on occasion.

He was a musician who along with Charlie Parker created
...more
Gerry
Jan 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Occasionally repetitive but very interesting biography with some really technical musical aspects. My favourite aspect of the book was the racism Dizzy and his band were subjected to throughout their heyday. Worth a read for any trumpet player or jazz fan.
MCBod
Mar 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: jazz-biographies
Less educational about the jazz movement in general than Miles' book. But it did make me love the man, Dizzy. What a talented, generous and giving individual
Billy
Sep 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Probably Quinn
Recommended to Billy by: Isabelle Saunders
This book is kinda boring, but has WONDERFUL interviews, photographic plates.
Jim
Jul 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite all-time autobiographies. Dizzy has more good stories than there are musical notes in "Salt Peanuts".
Bruce
Dec 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Dizzy rocks! This is an excellent tour of the birth of modern jazz (aka bebop)
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John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie was an American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, composer, and singer. In the 1940s Gillespie, with Charlie Parker, became a major figure in the development of bebop and modern jazz.