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JAZZ

NEW LPs, OLD FAVORITES: TATUM, GILLESPIE, PARKER . . .

May 18, 1986|LEONARD FEATHER

"CLOSER TO THE SOURCE." Dizzy Gillespie. Atlantic 81646. "Farther from the source" would be a more apt title. One can hear the buzz in corporate conference rooms: "Let's give Gillespie something the kids can relate to." If this jazz giant wants to sell more records, with the help of Marcus Miller, Branford Marsalis and (briefly, on harmonica and synthesizer) Stevie Wonder, good luck to him. What is remarkable about this set is not so much the triviality of the tunes, the vapid vocals (female), the rhythmic repetition or even the mechanical fades, but rather the degree to which Gillespie, at times, rises above them. On one cut, "You're No. 1 in My Book," he is in fine form, both muted and open. 2 1/2 stars.

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