Friday, November 25, 2016

Buddy DeFranco - Bravura (Complete 1959 Septette Sessions)

After the prominence it received during the 1930s from Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw, the clarinet suddenly became unfashionable with the arrival of bebop. Perhaps the instrument tended to sound thin when compared with the saxophone or trumpet, and only a few clarinettists were bold enough to tackle the new trends in jazz.
The outstanding clarinettist at this time was Buddy DeFranco, who had the facility to play complex sequences while keeping one foot in the mainstream camp. This double CD has the subtitle Complete 1959 Septette Recordings and comprises three whole LPs which put Buddy in a mainstream setting. DeFranco had paid his dues in the bands of Charlie Barnet and Tommy Dorsey, as well as being the first white man employed by Count Basie for his small group.
Buddy is quoted in the sleeve-note as saying that the idea of these sessions was "to get together with some of the swinging guys... who came up with the best days of the swing period, as opposed to fellows from the contemporary or out-and-out bop school". In other words, we have a typical set of sessions produced by Norman Granz, leaving the musicians free to play as they pleased. Like many Granz productions, there is a ballad medley, enabling most of the musicians the chance to show their paces at a gentle tempo. In fact this album contains three such medleys, with DeFranco stretching out on "'Round Midnight", "I'm Glad There is You" and the seldom-heard "Now I Lay Me Down to Dream".
Other highlights include "Oh, Lady Be Good !" which is dressed in new chords ; "Just Squeeze Me", for which DeFranco devised neat harmonising by trumpet, clarinet and flute ; and Buddy's composition "Witty", a minor blues. DeFranco's tone might sound cool but these sessions show that he believed in putting soul as well as intellect into his playing. This is clear in the unusually fast version of "Blue Lou", introduced with a storming drum solo by Alvin Stoller and including a really hot solo by Buddy. There are also many swinging contributions from Harry Edison. Indeed, all the musicians supporting Buddy DeFranco make worthwhile contributions, including British vibist Victor Feldman, guitarist Barney Kessel and bassist Scott LaFaro (just past his 22nd birthday). It is interesting to hear flautist Herbie Mann playing the bass clarinet - rather well.
The arrangements — presumably by Buddy — are ingenious but the recording quality is occasionally foggy. Listening to this album may convince you that the clarinet never really went away, as Buddy DeFranco kept alive the tradition of virtuoso clarinettists which continued with such musicians as Eddie Daniels and Paquito D'Rivera.
Tony Augarde

Source :

Buddy DeFranco
(Complete 1959 Septette Sessions)


Cd. 1

1 Sunday (Conn, Miller, Krueger, Styne)  5:42
2 Between the Devil and the Blue Sea (Arlen, Koehler)  9:19
3 Tea for Two (Youmans, Caesar)  4:55
4 Ballad Medley  11:54
a) 'Round Midnight (Hanighen, Williams, Monk)
b) You Don’t Know What Love Is (Raye, DePaul)
c) How Can We Be Wrong ? (Schwartz, Stillman, Dietz)
d) Lullaby of the Leaves (Petkere, Young)
e) Yesterdays (Kern, Harbach)
5 Blue Lou (Sampson, Mills)  4:28
6 Funky’s Oncle (DeFranco, Kessel)  9:02
7 Oh, Lady Be Good! (Gershwin, Gershwin)  4:02
8 Satin Doll (Ellington)  6:06
9 My Funny Valentine (Rodgers, Hart)  3:02
10 Blues for Space Travelers (Kessel)  4:46


Cd. 2

1 Tin Reed Blues (DeFranco)  7:01
2 Ballad Medley  6:36
a) I’m Glad There Is You (Madeira, Dorsey)
b) There’s No You (Durgtom, Adair, Hopper)
c) These Foolish Things (Strachey, Link, Marvell)
3 Crazy Rhythm (Meyer, Kahn, Caesar)  5:23
4 Just Squeeze Me (Ellington, Gains)  8:44
5 Undecided (Shavers, Robin)  4:04
6 Ja-Da (Carleton)  8:33
7 Ballad Medley  6:32
a) Now I Lay Me Down To Dream (Howard, Fiorito)
b) Honey (Simons, Whiting, Gillespie)
c) This Love of Mine (Sinatra, Sanacola)
d) Darn That Dream (Van Heusen, DeLange)
8 Lulu’s Back in Town (Warren, Dubin)  6:02
9 Ballad Medley  5:54)
a) Old Folks (Hill, Robinson)
b) How Long Has This Been Going On (Gershwin, Gershwin)
c) Please (Rainger, Robin)
10 Witty (DeFranco)  4:22


[Cd. 1, # 1-6] originally issued on the 12" LP  "Generalissimo" (Verve MG V-8363)
Harry “Sweets” Edison - tp
Buddy DeFranco - cl
Bob Hardaway - ts
Jimmy Rowles - p
Barney Kessel - g
Curtis Counce - b
Alvin Stoller - dr
Recorded at Radio Recorders, Hollywood ; April 2, 1959
[Cd. 1, # 7-10 & Cd. 2, # 1-3] originally issued on the 12" LP  "Live Date!" (Verve MG V-8383).
Buddy De Franco - cl
Herbie Mann - fl
Victor Feldman - vb
Pete Jolly - p & acc
Barney Kessel - g
Scott LaFaro - b
Frank De Vito - dr
Recorded at Radio Recorders, Hollywood ; April 4, 1959
[Cd. 2, # 4-10] originally issued on the 12" LP  "Bravura" (Verve MG V-8315).
Harry “Sweets” Edison - tp
Buddy De Franco - cl
Herbie Mann - fl & bcl
Jimmy Rowles - p
Barney Kessel - g
Joe Mondragon -b
Mel Lewis - dr
Recorded at Radio Recorders, Hollywood ; April 5, 1959


wouter said...

looks great, thank you very much, Mel!

John Pickworth said...

Many thanks !

lucky5 said...

Thanks a lot, Mel!

deGallo said...

Marvelous! Thank you.

Kneigh said...

Many thanx for this super fine Buddy treat, Melanchthon!! Never get enuf of his groups!!

Otis Foster said...

Thnx melanchthon haven't followed DeFranco all that closely. This will give me a chance to immerse myself.

ProfessorCalculus said...

One fantastic item, thanks

furnguy said...


neil said...

Been living with mp3s since 2011, so many thanks for the opportunity to upgrade, mel...

nlrp said...

thanks. nlrp

kristophermc28 said...

Thanks Mel!

Jazzsoulman said...

Thank You



elpeleon said...

Gracias Mel !!

Melanchthon said...

Pedro del Castillo Alonso said...

Hi Mel,
Thank you very much

The Jackal said...

Dear Mel,

I think I will pay the money and get my clarinet repaired..

What a line up...shows the respect BDF had with other musicians.

nikos said...

Many thanks, fills some gaps!

WOODY said...

Fantastic share - as always, so there is only one word to say: THANKS!

Anonymous said...

Maravilloso MEL,Thank you.Leon.Sevilla

adakun said...

Muchas gracias Mel!!

upkerry14 said...

You tend to hear the same three or four DeFranco tracks on jazz radio around here so it'll be nice to hear a wider selection of his stuff. Thanks, B

Peter said...

Dear Melanchthon,

once more weekend: time for great music.
Thank you.

sep troelstra said...

Many thanks!!

Kovina Kris said...

Very nice. Thank you!

rambert said...

Spotted this one too late, but I've got a few of the other Buddy De Franco's you so kindly shared. I'll keep an eye out for a future re-up of this one!