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After Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie was one of the trailblazers of bebop. His blinding technique set the pace for bop, but he wasn't just an instrumentalist and bandleader -- he was a skilled composer, writing one of the definitive jazz pieces, "A Night in Tunisia." Throughout the years, as bop morphed into hard bop and post-bop, "A Night in Tunisia" remained a standard because it was that unique blend of a song that plays to a wide audience while still being satisfying for seasoned musicians. It's a fast, technically challenging piece, yet it remains catchy and melodic. And if it's possible for a bop song to be danceable, than "A Night in Tunisia" is danceable -- well, at least it has a strong beat. All kinds of musicians and groups have tackled the song throughout the years, but it remains Gillespie's showcase and this 1946 recording shows why. He makes speedy flurries of notes sound graceful and the path of his solo never is predictable, even after you become familiar with the recording. A perfect recording of a flawless tune.

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