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It was only 1935 when John Birks Gillespie arrived in Philadelphia, a scrappy and smart-mouthed teenager, with his trumpet in a paper bag. He was still in his teens when Leonard first heard him at the London Palladium, an unknown third trumpet man playing with the Teddy Hill band. By the early 1940s he was an experienced player and arranger. Leonard encountered Dizzy again working with Benny Carter's band at the Famous Door in New York, and later at after-hours sessions at Minton's Play House -- trading solos with Parker, Monk, and for a short while, a bashful, brilliant young guitarist from Texas.

Dizzy tells Melody Maker Readers "The Truth About Bebop"

Charlie Christian played what was at the time an obscure instrument, the electric guitar. He'd become famous for his unconventional single-note solos at The Dome in Bismarck, N.D. Happy to remain in North Dakota making the music he wanted to, Christian refused offers to tour with several name bands, but was eventually convinced by John Hammond to join Benny Goodman in New York. He died in 1942 in a Staten Island sanitarium, already having left an indelible mark on the jazz world.

Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie
Bird and Diz
Charlie Christian
Solo Flight
Tea for Two
Tea for Two