him and Benny Carter into a photonsession.nThey made us perform a bebop greetingnfor them. ‘Hi-ya, man!’ ‘Bellsnman, where you been.” giving thensign of the flatted fifth, a raised opennhand.n’Eel-ya-da!’ We gave a three-fingerednsign that we were playing triplets, endingnwith an elaborate handshake. Thatnwas supposed to be the bebopper’sngreeting, but there was no such thingnin real life. It was just a bunch ofnhorseplay we went through so theyncould pretend we were somethingnweird.nGillespie’s propensity to lightheartedness,neven comedy, has always beliednthe seriousness of his musicianship. Thenmeteoric alto saxophonist, CharlienParker, blazed bebop’s most gloriousnsolos, and Gillespie’s trumpet virtuositynwas the only near match for Parker’s.nBut Parker’s talent, honed to dazzlingnbrilliance by the endless woodsheddingnof his youth, was largely instinctive. Gillespie,na more complete musician if notna better soloist, built his stunning craftsmanshipnon the most solid theoreticalnbase ever constructed by a modern jazznmusician and probably equaled in jazznonly by Ellington.nThe greatest value of this rambling,nrepetitious, charming autobiography isnthat it plainly explains the nature of thenbop revolution in which Gillespie wasnthe chief theoretician and leading teacher.nUnlike most books by or about musicians,nmusic plays the principal role.nAnyone with a reasonably good juniornhigh school music education and a BugsnBower chord book can sit at the pianonand patiently find the chords and chordnprogressions Gillespie discloses as thenevolutionary material that led jazz outnof the harmonic restrictions of thenswing era.nUsing the simple, unadorned harmoniesnthat prevailed until the early 40’s,nit was possible for musicians to coastnalong, even to “fake it.” But when Gil­nlespie, Parker, Thelonious Monk andnothers began inverting, substituting andndividing chords, it became necessary fornanyone trying to improvise with thesenmen to know exactly where they werengoing or fail abjectly. Many failed. A fewnmastered the demanding techniques andnsurvived. Clearly, by Gillespie’s ownntestimony and that of dozens of othernmusicians interviewed by co-authornFraser, no jazz player has ever knownnmore precisely how every element of hisnsolos related to the harmonic structuresnof the music. Some of the most sophisticatednmusicians of the movement, includingnMiles Davis and Budd Johnson,nspeak reverently of Gillespie’s willingnessnpatiently to unravel the mysteries ofnbop’s often convoluted harmonies. Henseemed to have a vocation to teach, andnhe went about it as if the future of jazzndepended on his ability to make the f irstandnsecond-generation hoppers understandnwhat they were doing. Colleaguenafter colleague speaks with awe of Gillespie’sntrailblazing musicianship.nBilly Eckstine on Gillespie circa 1940:n”Dizzy worked on chord progressions,nthings like that, finding different waysnof doing things. Finding different progressions,nalternate ways of using thenmusical chords, not just the given thingsnthat are in the songs. He would worknout the alternates and the prettiernthemes, different progressions to them,nand countermelodies, which he stillndoes.”nTrumpeter Duke Garrett: “Before,nwe trumpets had just been screamingnand trying to see who could play thenloudest and who could get the highest.nThen he came out with an intelligentnway of constructing solos on the chordnstructure of a tune and then deliveringnit in a way that was not an easy way—nit was a way that you had to study. Andnsome of us right today have never gottenndown to his technique.”nSaxophonist and arranger Budd Johnson:n”Diz would come in where younwere working and sit in with the band.nAnd, like, we’d be jamming. He’d letneverybody else play first, and while theynnnwere playing he would be telling thenpiano player, he’d say, ‘See, when younget to that chord you make a so-and-so,nand you make a so-and-so.’ And so whennit got to be Dizzy’s time to play, now,nthe piano player has learned the newnchanges, and this cat would get up therenand blow the roof off the joint. Just washneverybody away. And everybody wouldnstart to say, ‘Man, play that behind me.'”nKenny Clarke, who pioneered bopndrumming: “I saw the rhythmic aspectnof it, the way he played and the waynhe would hum time and things like that.nI knew it was avant-garde, ahead of time,nso I just fell in with what was going on.”nThe book is rich in such insightsninto Gillespie’s musical essence, butnmuch of it is transcribed tape interviewsnfull of repetition, half-sentences, incompletenthoughts. This volume is knownnto have been in preparation for at leastn15 years, and this reviewer recalls Gillespienmaking notes for it as long ago asn1962. Nonetheless, it sometimes hasnthe roughness of a hurried project.nWhether through Gillespie’s choice of ancollaborator, or Doubleday’s editingnprocess, the volume is a bit of a jumble.nHowever, it will be a gold mine for biographersnto come. It is valuable not onlynfor the musical assessments but for Gillespie’snrecollections of his childhoodnin Cheraw, South Carolina, the deprivationsnand poverty that followed the deathnof his father, and how the discovery ofnhis talent deflected him from the pathntoward a sharecropping existence intonan extraordinarily productive life.nThroughout the book, Gillespie is generousnin his recognition of the aid andntalents of others. His credit to his boyhoodnmusic teacher and mentor, AlicenV. Wilson, is touching: one cannot helpnbeing moved by her description of Gillespie’snpresenting her to his CarnegienHall audience. He is fulsome in hisnpraise of Parker, Monk, Clarke, BudnPowell and others in the developmentnof bop. He helps revive recognition ofnthe importance of pianists Billy Kylenand Clyde Hart as transitional figuresn^mmmmmtmSi^nJttly/Au^U8t 1980n