Two Who Transformed Their Worlds : Dizzy Gillespie (1917-1993)

Dizzy Gillespie 1917-1993

THAT IS THE QUESTION: TO BE OR not . . . to bop. The problem, first stated by an English playwright of some note, was rephrased and repunctuated by John Birks Gillespie in 1979 and used as the title of a free-swinging memoir. To Be or Not . . . to Bop: hip, funny, silly, fractured, rhythmic -- each word is like a snap of the fingers -- pointed, pertinent, dizzy. Very Dizzy.

Did anyone ever call him John? When Dizzy Gillespie died last week at age 75, after a bout with pancreatic cancer, he was known the world over by...

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