We gave it a B
Singer Billy Eckstine, who died March 8, said he resented how Hollywood ignored him and many fellow black jazz greats. Dizzy Gillespie and Billy Eckstine: Things To Come provides the evidence: The only visual documentation of Eckstine and Dizzy Gillespie’s pace-setting 1940s bebop big bands was provided by black film producer William D. Alexander in low-budget efforts culled here.
Rhythm in a Riff includes Eckstine’s ballad hit ”Prisoner of Love” and still-modern-sounding jazz instrumentals with greats Art Blakey, Frank Wess, and Gene Ammons. Jivin’ in Be-Bop features Gillespie classics ”Salt Peanuts” and ”Oop Bop Sh’Bam.” But inexplicably missing here are two high points from the original release print, ”Shaw Nuff” and ”A Night in Tunisia.” B