Desert Island Jazz
John Lee (2008)

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John Lee is a bassist, a composer, an educator, and a producer; he's also Executive Director of the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Bands.

The son of a Methodist minister whose secular activities included an extensive record collection, John enrolled at the Philadelphia Musical Academy in 1970, contemporaneously working in and around New York City with the likes of Pharoah Sanders, Carlos Garnett and Joe Henderson.

Barely 20 years old, in 1972 John was hired into the Max Roach Quartet, the education he received there proving to him more valuable than that he was getting at the academy. Later that year, he moved to Europe, where he worked and recorded with, among others, Gary Bartz, Philip Catherine, Charlie Mariano, and Toots Thielemans.

Back in the US, John worked with Gil Evans, Joe Henderson again, and Lonnie Liston Smith. In 1975 he was hired by Larry Coryell for Eleventh House. The early 1980s saw him with McCoy Tyner, and then in 1984 came the association which was to define his musical life for the next quarter century. He became the bassist in Dizzy Gillespie's band, a role he fulfilled until Dizzy's death almost a decade later, in 1993. This makes him more than qualified to head up groups that celebrate the life and works of John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie.
Pick Artist Album Song Label
# 1 Freddie Hubbard Jazz Moods: Hot Take It to the Ozone (Epic)
# 2 Antonio Carlos Jobim Wave The Red Blouse (A&M)
# 3 Oscar Peterson Night Train Moten Swing (Verve)
# 4 Sarah Vaughan Crazy and Mixed-Up I Didn't Know What Time It Was (Pablo)
# 5 Miles Davis Amandla Big Time (Warner Bros)
# 6 Frank Sinatra with Count Basie At the Sands Fly Me to the Moon (Reprise)
# 7 Dizzy Gillespie Jambo Caribe Fiesta Mojo (Limelight)
# 8 Dizzy Gillespie New Faces Birks' Works (GRP)
# 9 Dizzy Gillespie and James Moody Dizzy Gillespie and James Moody with Gil Fuller and the Monterey Jazz Festival Orchestra Groovin' High (Blue Note)
Book "Something inspiring or spiritual ... the Bible"
Luxury Item Major League Baseball
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