Jaime David Vazquez – BASS LINES: Famous Bass Intros – Part XI – Dizzy Gillespie’s “Night In Tunisia”…
Hey bass players and fans of bass playing! Here’s another classic!
Although the song is sometimes titled “A Night in Tunisia” the proper title is “Night in Tunisia.” This famous jazz standard was written by Dizzy Gillespie in 1942. According to Gillespie’s To Be or Not to Bop: Memoirs of Dizzy Gillespie, he was sitting at the piano playing chord progressions when he noticed the notes of the chords formed a melody with a Latin/oriental feel. Adding a bebop-style rhythm to the melody, Gillespie came up with “Night in Tunisia.”
When played, this “mixture introduced a special kind of syncopation in the bass line,” a jazz pioneering step away from the traditional regular 4-beat bass. During the videotaped concert performance, “A Night in Tunisia,” Gillespie discusses how he composed this “anthem to bebop,” introducing Afro-Cuban rhythms to mainstream American jazz.
In January of 2004, The Recording Academy added the Dizzy Gillespie & His Sextet’s 1946 Victor recording of “Night in Tunisia” to its Grammy Hall of Fame. It appears as the title track of 30 CDs and is included in over 500 currently available CDs.