Ella and Dizzy Revisited BBC Proms


Ella and Dizzy Revisited

Tribute to jazz greats Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy Gillespie, as singer Dianne Reeves and trumpeter James Morrison showcase some of the music most closely associated with them.


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Transcript


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Tonight we serve up music by two greats of the jazz world,

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the 'First Lady of Song' Ella Fitzgerald and one

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of the greatest ever jazz trumpeters - John Birks Gillespie ? I'm sure

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you'll know him better as 'Dizzy' Gillespie.

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This evening's Proms celebrates the centenary year

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of the births of Dizzy Gillespie and Ella Fitzgerald,

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two of the most ground-breaking and enduring Jazz greats.

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Stepping into their shoes is not going to be easy,

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but we have two of the biggest names in Jazz today to take up

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the challenge - Grammy-winning American singer Dianne Reeves

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and Australian multi-instrumentalist and trumpet virtuoso James Morrison.

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They'll be joining the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted

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Hello, and welcome. I am Yolanda Brown. I grew up listening to their

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music and as a saxophonist, I've been massively influenced by both of

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them. Alla's singing was like listening to a leading judgment

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itself, her tone was so pure and her phrasing had a unique rhythm.

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Dizzy's combination of styles was pioneering and his improvisation was

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a rhythmic thrill. I love how he dared to be different and in doing

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so, inspired and gave to so many. What cannot be denied is dizzy and

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Ella's stellar careers changed the course of jazz history. They both

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served their musical print ships in the late 30s and early 40s when big

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band dominated in the United States. Dizzy would go on to carve a new

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path for jazz, and be one of the first musicians to fuse Afro, Cuban,

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and Brazilian rhythms with jazz. This would also mark a turning point

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in the career of Ella Fitzgerald. She started including scat singing

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as part of her repertoire. Along with her pure tone, it would become

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her trademark sound, in a career lasting over 50 years and saw her

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release over 200 albums. Paying tribute to these giants of

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the jazz world tonight... On trumpet, internationally

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acclaimed Australian virtuoso, James Morrison, who was mentored

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by Dizzy Gillespie himself. And Dianne Reeves, who has been

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described as "the most admired jazz diva since the heyday

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of Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald I have seen them both in rehearsals

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earlier today, and they are spectacular.

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Getting tonight's tribute to Dizzy and Ella underway,

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music that conjures up the world of their youth growing up in the US,

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Manhattan Rhapsody was a part of George Gershwin's first major

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orchestral film score, written for the 1931 film 'Delicious'.

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The film's New York location is the setting for his mini-sequel

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Here is tonight's conductor, John Mauceri, with pianist,

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Victor Sangiorgio, joining the BBC Concert Orchestra

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for George Gershwin's 'Manhattan Rhapsody'.

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Good evening, I'm John Mauceri and welcome to concert number 27 in the

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2017 series of prompts. I've been asked to speak to you a little while

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we are moving instruments around the stage. That was, as you probably

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noticed, that was the UK premiere of a work done by George Gershwin for a

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film called Delicious, written in 1931. It seems appropriate to have

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George Gershwin begin the concert, which is a tribute to the Centenary

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years of Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy Gillespie, it was George Gershwin

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who participated in an experiment in modern music in 1924 when Rhapsody

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in Blue was first heard. The idea of the experiment was to see if it was

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possible for jazz to be used in concert and clearly, the experiment

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was a success as here we are in 2017 at a concert inspired by two jazz

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legend. We have two soloists, one standing in for Ella and another

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standing in for Dizzy. The woman who will be singing many songs as

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tribute to Ella, who has known for 15 years, she has chosen a song from

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George Gershwin and a film score, the film Damsel in Distress, the

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last film George managed to complete before his untimely death in 1939,

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that movie takes place in London so we are happy that this first song is

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a tribute to this great city and the original script, the story came from

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PG Woodhouse. The woman about to sing is a great friend of mine and

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one of the great jazz singers of the world. When she was a teenager she

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met Ella Fitzgerald and told me the story the other day that she went to

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visit Ella in her dressing room, she was singing downstairs in the club

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and Ella was so nice to her and the next night Ella had cancelled and

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this young girl went up to Ella's dressing room and saw her shoes, put

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on her shoes and sang that night. I can think of nobody more appropriate

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to fill Ella Fitzgerald's shoes, so please welcome the great Dianne

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Reeves. CHEERING

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APPLAUSE # What to do,

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what to do, what to do? # and as I walked through

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the foggy streets alone. # It turned out to be

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the luckiest day I've known # I viewed the morning

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with much alarm # The British museum

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had lost its charm # How long, I wondered,

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could this thing last? # But the age of

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miracles hadn't passed #

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This is such a wonderful place. # I'm excited.

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# How long, I wondered, could this thing last?

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# But the age of miracles hadn't passed

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Dizzy Gillespie got his name because apparently he used to carry his

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trumpet around in a brown paper bag and his fellow musicians just

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thought he was dizzy. So it is not surprising someone stepped on the

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trumpet which left it at a 45 degrees angle. All of you who know

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dizzy got to see him perform, will have seen that strange trumpet. He

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could play better than anyone so our soloist tonight is an epitome of

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that. The song he has chosen is the one song by someone who is English

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and that seemed to be appropriate. Ray Noble was a band leader,

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composer, an actor and comedian. The movie you just heard the song from,

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he appears in that as Reggie, the band leader in that very same movie.

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In 1938, he wrote this song called Cherokee, which was for Native

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Americans on whom he had encountered in Hollywood. His rendition of this

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song was a kind of slow, four, four but the soloist will Dizzy-fy it.

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He's welcome James Morrison. Thank you., thank you.

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Thank you. Thank you. You know, that's how I

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love to start a performance, just gently easing into it... Thank you,

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and good night! We are just warming up. Growing up on the other side of

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the world in Australia, so far from the real action, you know, that is

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how it felt, all of the greats of jazz. My only way of hearing was on

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vinyl, which was great. But I first heard Dizzy Gillespie at the age of

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eight, not when he was eight, when I was eight! I could not believe that

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the trumpet could do that. And I hoped, I wished, that one day I

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would hear him live. Fast forward many years, imagine what it was like

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when I finally not only heard him but I met him. We played and

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recorded together. It was a dream come true. Just as it is tonight, a

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dream come true to be here tonight paying tribute to this master, this

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mentor, this legend of jazz. He was known for his virtuosity, he could

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push the trumpet to the edge of the envelope and then some, but he could

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not always do that. There was nothing more beautiful than

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listening to him play a ballot and we are going to do that now with

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felonious Monk's Round Midnight. This is so exciting! I mean, this

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magnificent hall and this tradition, this rich and beautiful tradition

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that you have every year, I might have two comeback for a little bit

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more office. This. This is absolutely fantastic! I am so

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delighted to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the great Ella

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Fitzgerald who was truly an architect of jazz singing. I

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remember the very first time that I saw her, and how I felt so inspired

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to continue with this music. She opened up so many possibilities and

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she gave me courage to sing this beautiful music we call jazz,

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America's classical music. She could sing anything, you could put

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anything in front of her, from the great American song books, to the

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popular, the musicians of the day in the pop world. She loved music at

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any place in any time, and she sang with so much joy. We are going to do

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a song from the Book of Gershwin, some of my favourite music that she

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sang. It features my long-time friend, we have travelled the world

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together, Mr Peter Martin on piano. embrace me, my sweet embraceable you

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# Embrace me, you irreplaceable you

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# Just one look at you, my heart grew tipsy and mean.

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# You, and you alone, bring out the gypsy in May

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# I love all the many charms about you

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# Above all, I want my arms about you

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# Don't be a naughty baby # Come to mama, come to mama do

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# My sweet embraceable you # Embrace me my sweet

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embraceable you # Just one look at you my

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heart grew tipsy in me # You and you alone bring

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out the gypsy in me # I love all the many

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charms about you We started our concert with a

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depiction of Manhattan by George Gershwin in 1931.

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George Gershwin demonstrated you could use jazz to write a concerto,

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to write an opera. And first Duke Ellington was a little suspicious

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about this and later in his career he started writing long form or

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Christian works. His real masterpiece of all those pieces,

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which are really wonderful is a work called Harlem, which he wrote in

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1954 the NBC see Symphony. It was an orchestra created by the greatest

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musicians from the United States of America, they were the highest paid

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musicians in the world and vacate daily-macro gave concerts and

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broadcasts all over the world and on television. Ellington wrote a piece

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for that orchestra called Harlem and it is a travelogue of that part of

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Manhattan, which is a neighbourhood just north of the top of Central

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Park. This trip, is a description of Harlem and it is extraordinary.

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Ellington wrote about the 20 bits of Harlem. You will know if you are in

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Spanish Harlem, if you are in a club where the girls are offbeat but

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kicking widely. You know you are in a church because there are more

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churches in Harlem than there are cabarets and clubs. There is a

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funeral, there is a civil rights demonstration. This is 1950. Then at

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the climax of this extraordinary piece, there is a triple credenza. A

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moment where three percussion elements have an improvisation.

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First Marnie up there with the timpani. Marnie will play and then

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Patrick from Australia. APPLAUSE

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Playing the kit and then Alistair and his group, where will you be,

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Alistair? Stand up so people can see where you are. Why this is so

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important is because Ellington, in this one moment before the end, he

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takes the Symphony Orchestra represented by the timpani, the big

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band represented by Patrick and then the Africans coming, represented by

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the African drums. It is all in one theme and this great moment is the

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moment where Ellington talks about music and the world we live in. The

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other thing, it is a series of variations on the name Harlem.

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Harlem is just two syllables and there couldn't be anything harder

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than write a series of variations on the cheering that is two notes. Less

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than two notes is just one note about isn't a tune. So he just has

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Harlem. That is tough. Alexander Hamilton had the most musical note

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in the world. The entire piece is based on that. When we start,

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Patrick will play something on the symbols and the jazz trumpet plays

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Harlem, we play accord. The Jazz trumpet player plays Harlem again

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and then the whole world opens up in this great part of Manhattan. From

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1950, Duke Ellington's masterpiece, Harlem.

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John Mauceri and the BBC Concert Orchestra with

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taking all of us here at the Royal Albert Hall on a tour of the area.

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What a sensational first half! Still so much to see in just a few

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minutes. First though a chance to catch up

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with the stars of the show ? we caught up with Dianne Reeves

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and James Morrison at rehearsals to find out why they think Dizzy

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and Ella are so special. If you are walking in on jazz

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pianists, there is likely to be a card game going on, and I was

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allegedly arrested because of it -- Ella. To celebrate them is like...

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Ooh, I wish I could have been back in that time. In celebrating Ella

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Fitzgerald, you have to know that there was only one Ella Fitzgerald.

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# With an irreplaceable heart such as yours... #

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She was quiet, and shy. Then, on stage, she was a lion. When she

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opened her mouth, she roared. When I first heard Dizzy, I went... The

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trumpet can do that?! He is the very definition of jazz. He created a

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party wherever he went. Then, when you are onstage yourself, you want

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to do same thing. Dizzy, of course, was an innovator. He came out of the

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swing era, but was then one of the fathers of the beatbox. It was fast,

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up-tempo music with fiery changes, and Ella was really the one singer

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who could sing in that style. Dianne is doing wonderful hits of Ella, and

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we are choosing songs he either wrote was famous for recording and

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playing. But, she is so good at scat too, as was Ella. Although I am

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playing that kind of trumpet, we are going back into the swing era too,

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so we meet. The thing about jazz musicians, the music they play is a

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very special language. So, I am excited to have this musical

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conversation. Our conversational beat is different to Ella's and

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Dizzy's but it will be just as exciting. Playing jazz along with an

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orchestra really requires a meeting of two worlds and the way and

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orchestra thinks about it and field is different to jazz musicians. 37,

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one, two, three, four... Of course, you cannot change the arrangement in

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a moment 's notice, like you can with a small group... But, there is

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this big a kind of magic which happens.

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Then, Dianne and I stand at the front and have the fun! It's the

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greatest music festival in the world and we are celebrating the greatest

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jazz singer ever, so it makes sense to me. But to be celebrating Dizzy's

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Centenary as well? It's a double whammy.

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Welcome back conductor John Mauceri and the BBC Concert Orchestra.

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So looking forward to the second half. It is like being transported

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to a jazz club. That was Jungle Drums by the

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composer known as the Cuban Gershwin. He first brought African

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music to America because he was hired by MGM. Part of the thing

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about Afro-Cuban music, it is complicated rhythms. We will

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continue the concert with the standard by George and Ira Gershwin,

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was a two and four and it is over five, eight, over four, four. If you

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think that is complicated, it is. Let's welcome back on the stage,

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James and Dianne. # Got a little rhythm,

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a rhythm, a rhythm # Why I'm always shaking

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# Just like a fliver # Each morning I get up

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with the sun # To find at night

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no work has been done # Once

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it didn't matter # Oh, how

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I long to be the girl I used to be # Fascinating rhythm

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# I'm all a quiver # Why I'm always shaking

:23:49.:26:14.

# Just like a fliver # Each morning I get up

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with the sun # To find at night

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no work has been done # Once

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it didn't matter # Oh, how I long to be

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the girl I used to be Miss Dianne Reeves.

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APPLAUSE I hope that you can tell we are

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having fun. It is such a joy to work with her, as it is such a joy to

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work with this fabulous orchestra. The BBC concert Orchestra.

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APPLAUSE Thank you, Maestro. We are not only

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joined by myself and Dianne, I should introduce these blokes.

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Harry, this is party. That is a direct Dizzy Gillespie quote, you

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did that in every gig. I would like to welcome on the guitar, William

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Morrison. On the drums, Patrick. And on the base, Harry Morrison.

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Quickly, I have to say, could they be related? Surely not? Closer look.

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Harry is my younger son. He is 19. It is true. He is here so you can

:29:38.:29:44.

see what I look like when I was 19. William is here so you can see what

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I looked like when I was 21. The hair has already gone. You've got

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two years. We are going to do a piece now that is yet another, one

:29:57.:30:03.

of the most amazing things about Dizzy. Not only did he innovate, but

:30:04.:30:08.

he started drawing in music from around the world to become part of

:30:09.:30:12.

jazz. When he travelled to South America and Cuba, things like this

:30:13.:30:14.

happen. This next song is a song that I

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wrote but it has no lyrics. It is dedicated... Can you believe I came

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out here in my glasses? That shows you, I can't see when I am back

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there! That is my little secret, now you know that I'm blind! But

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anyway... I can feel you! CHEERING

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APPLAUSE And I wrote it this way, I wrote the

:41:49.:41:52.

song this way because it is dedicated to all of the great

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vocalists I have listened to over the years, who sing in languages I

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do not understand. When I play them in my house, I try

:42:00.:42:04.

to sing along but I would never want them to hear what I am saying... But

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when I sing this song, I feel like them and also I dedicate this to

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Ella. Every time she opened her mouth and improvised, she told a

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beautiful story, so maybe you will understand what I am saying...

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I didn't even dream about this and this is a dream come truth.

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Fantastic. # Have you ever heard

:56:10.:56:49.

two turtle doves # Music we make with

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our lips when we kiss # If you should tell me

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farewell and goodbye Dianne Reeves and James Morrison

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with a fantastic rendition of George Shearing's standard

:57:39.:03:14.

'Lullaby of Birdland' ? his nod to New York's leading

:03:15.:03:17.

Jazz club in the 50's. his nod to New York's leading

:03:18.:03:21.

Jazz club in the 50s. The BBC Concert Orchestra

:03:22.:03:24.

conducted by John Mauceri. Dianne Reeves, James Morrison,

:03:25.:03:33.

BBC Concert Orchestra. The Royal Albert Hall cannot get

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enough. A raucous applause here at The Royal Albert Hall. Here they

:03:51.:03:53.

come again. They want more. A raucous applause, nobody is going

:03:54.:05:03.

home. Everybody wants to continue to celebrate. The BBC concert Orchestra

:05:04.:05:12.

staying on the stage, waiting for them to come out. What will Dianne

:05:13.:05:17.

Reeves and James Morrison have in store for us?

:05:18.:05:32.

# It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing

:05:33.:05:37.

# It don't mean a thing, all you got to do is sing

:05:38.:05:58.

# It makes no diff'rence if it's sweet or it's hot

:05:59.:06:10.

# Just give that rhythm ev'rything you got

:06:11.:06:12.

# Oh, it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing

:06:13.:06:18.

# It makes no diff'rence if it's sweet or it's hot

:06:19.:08:37.

# Just give that rhythm ev'rything you got

:08:38.:08:49.

# Doo wah, doo wah, doo wah, doo wah#

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Fabulous. The Royal Albert in and singing along. I couldn't sit still.

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Wondrous applause, fantastic tribute tonight. As they take their powers.

:09:43.:09:51.

-- bowels. It has been a fantastic evening at

:09:52.:10:05.

The Royal Albert Hall. A standing tribute to Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy

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Gillespie. Katie Derham and her guests will be discussing this

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performance tomorrow at 615 on BBC Two. From all others here at The

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Royal Albert good night.

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A special Proms tribute to jazz greats Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy Gillespie, in the centenary year of their births. Grammy Award-winning singer Dianne Reeves and sensational trumpeter James Morrison perform with the BBC Concert Orchestra under the baton of Hollywood music legend John Mauceri, as they showcase some of the music most closely associated with Ella and Dizzy.