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Jon Faddis

 

 

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Dizzy Gillespie said about Jon Faddis, "He's the best ever -- including me!"  His trademark is the very high range he plays in.  He doesn't just hit higher notes than everybody, he plays up in that range!  He also can play very fast and he plays with great feeling!  I saw him live this year, and words just can't describe how incredible he is!

He burst on the scene as a teenager and amazed everybody with his range, technique and ability to imitate Gillespie, who has been Faddis' idol since he began playing at the age of eight.   Faddis expanded his repertoire to include Roy Eldridge and Louis Armstrong, and his own great style.  He recorded with Lionel Hampton, Charles Mingus, and Oscar Peterson.  Afterwards, Faddis played in the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis orchestra and did studio work.  In the mid 80s he re-emerged on the jazz scene and recorded with Illinois Jacquet and then started recording his own material.

In 1992, the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band was created, and Faddis and he has been the musical director of it since its inception.  The group put out a CD in 1996 on Blue Note Records and it really swings!

        I also have 2 CDs by Faddis, Hornucopia (shown in the illustration above) and Into the Faddisphere.  Both are real joys, as he does some classics, such as Dizzie Atmosphere (you have got to hear that--awesome!) and he does original songs with a progressive swing to it.  The first time I heard him was on the song Tickle Toe on the album Jacquette's Got It!  by Illinois Jacquet and His Big Band (listed in my top 30 CDs).  I was so in awe, that I drove to a town 50 miles away later that week to buy it.

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