Tune in to Jazz with Victor Cooper - weekdays from 6-9 a.m. MT - for Stories of Standards to hear our favorite versions of this song all week long beginning Monday, November 5 presented by Rodney Franks!
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Tadd Dameron (born Tadley Ewing Peake in 1917) started out as a pianist in Cleveland, Ohio, and by the time he was 21 he was writing and arranging. His clients included the Jimmie Lunceford and Count Basie bands, Sarah Vaughan and others. Essayist Joe Mosbrook wrote, “Arranging for Gillespie’s big band, Dameron took the long phrases, powerful upbeat rhythms and chord changes of bop, that Dizzy and and Charlie Parker were pioneering and used them in big band arrangements. Among his early compositions for Gillespie was ‘Good Bait.’”
Sandra Burlingame’s essay says Gillespie’s “December 1947 recording of ‘Good Bait’ adds Latin rhythms over Dameron’s four-square beat; the beat is anticipated in the brass section’s punctuations to the theme, and these are picked up by the drummer, Joe Harris, who also drops in off-center accents to complement Gillespie’s solo over the ensemble.” “Good Bait” ranks 277th most recorded at. The co-writing credit at that source goes to Count Basie.
The music chart notes that “’Good Bait’ had originally been written for Count Basie, and was copyrighted in 1944. Dameron also arranged the tune for the Billy Eckstine Orchestra, and when that ensemble folded, Dizzy Gillespie added the setting to his book, playing it frequently. Basie began playing it in 1948 after Gillespie popularized it.”