In 1956, trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie led an all-star big band on two tours organized by the U.S. State Department. The first made stops in the Middle East, while the second included dates in Buenos Aires and other South American cities. Recorded during that tour, the 10 tracks on Dizzy in South America include the trumpeter's own "Groovin' High" and "The Champ" (RealAudio excerpt), and Cole Porter's "Begin the Beguine."
Aside from Gillespie, who is at the top of his game throughout this recording, the band also features trumpeter Quincy Jones and drummer Charlie Persip, whose solo on "The Champ" is an electrifying tour de force.
Also featured is Austin Cromer, who displays his vocal range and impressive pipes on "Wonder Why" (RealAudio excerpt) and "Because of You." Sax player Marty Flax's robust baritone on the introduction on Horace Silver's "Doodlin" quickly gives way to some hard-hitting ensemble playing. On "My Reverie," trombonist Melba Liston reveals a huge, warm tone, demonstrating why she's an inspiration to so many who've played the instrument.
Aside from the artistry and showmanship demonstrated throughout, the band also had fun during their trip, as evidenced on Buster Harding's "Hey Pete, Let's Eat More Meat."