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Subject: ARCHIVE: January 6, 1993 ~Jazz great Dizzy Gillespie, known for his bullfrog appearance while performing (medically known as laryngocele), whose stand-out trumpeting style in the infancy of post-war BeBop era, soon earned his place in the pantheon of musical icons of the later 20th century, influencing generations before his death from cancer, at 75. ...
[ John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie ]
(October 21, 1917 – January 6, 1993)
Gillespie was a trumpet virtuoso and improviser, building on the virtuoso style of Roy Eldridge but adding layers of harmonic and rhythmic complexity previously unheard in jazz. His combination of musicianship, showmanship, and wit made him a leading popularizer of the new music called bebop. His beret and horn-rimmed spectacles, his scat singing, his bent horn, pouched cheeks, and his light-hearted personality provided some of bebop's most prominent symbols.
Gillespie recorded countless albums and was best noted for his signature tunes "A Night in Tunisia" and "Salt Peanuts". In 1972, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences' Grammy Award ceremonies and received the National Medal of Arts from President George Bush. During the 1980s, he organized the Dizzy Gillespie National Orchestra which performed at jazz festivals world wide until his death.
He taught and influenced many other musicians, including trumpeters Miles Davis, Jon Faddis, Fats Navarro, Clifford Brown, Arturo Sandoval, Lee Morgan, Chuck Mangione, and balladeer Johnny Hartman. Scott Yanow wrote, "Dizzy Gillespie's contributions to jazz were huge. One of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time, Gillespie was such a complex player that his contemporaries ended up being similar to those of Miles Davis and Fats Navarro instead, and it was not until Jon Faddis's emergence in the 1970s that Dizzy's style was successfully recreated [....] Arguably Gillespie is remembered, by both critics and fans alike, as one of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time".
Though Dizzy once said that a scientist had studied his face and called them “Gillespie’s Pouches,”
the more technical term for why his neck bulges like a bullfrog’s would be laryngocele. A laryngocele
is a benign (yet unmissable) condition where a person has an empty sac alongside his or her larynx. …
...The air sac can share air with the gases flowing past the voice box and expand when pressure
in the mouth/throat increase. Gillespie was either endowed with or forcefully created—from continuous
and rigorous use—two of them, resulting in that classic visage accompanying his every horn blast.