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Buddy DeFranco RIP

45 posts in this topic

Point taken about Jimmy Giuffre if you (and/or Dan Morgenstern) refer specifically to bop (I was more thinking of modern jazz in the general sense of "post-swing"). I agree about Tony Scott (his pre-Asian recordings, of course, in this context) being an acquired taste but at any rate he had a voice of his own. The Most brothers were on my mind when I wrote "Who else" and my fault I did not think of Sachs, Wickman and Kühn. ;) (BTW, how about Hank d'Amico for another first-generation bop clarinetist who rose in the 40s?)

I agree that Buddy De Franco was a calibre all of his own but at any rate, there WERE other modern/bop clarinetists who were no slouches either.

Getting back to Buddy DeFranco's recordings, a question to those more familiar with his recorded output: What's the general story behind his MGM period? I have some of his 78s as well as a 10" LP and some of the reissued tracks on Classics and generally like them but wonder a bit about where to site them. A bit ballad-heavy for some tastes and some of his playing does seem a bit .. shall we say ... "straight" to me. Did he try to go for a share of the pop market there?

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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I haven't heard much of his music, but I've ordered his album of Steve Allen music that he did with Terry Gibbs. I'm looking forward to hearing more of his work. Thank you for the music, Mr. DeFranco, and rest in peace.

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Loved his playing. My first hearing encounter was the Art Tatum Group Masterpieces album..., especially Buddy´s solo on "Deep Night".

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I haven't heard much of his music, but I've ordered his album of Steve Allen music that he did with Terry Gibbs. I'm looking forward to hearing more of his work. Thank you for the music, Mr. DeFranco, and rest in peace.

I'd say any/all of his albums with Terry Gibbs are worth a listen, Justin. And from his later years, he made a couple of fine albums with Dave McKenna for Concord including this one:

51RPfuBGjPL.jpg

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Buddy was great, and I always thought he had some untapped possibilities - listen to the Capitols - like Bird in Igor's Yard, or the small group things with Raney on guitar; he will occassionally stretch himself chromatically and seem to be heading elswhere. And then the bebop playing - perfect lines, perfect lines.

what a player.

Edited by AllenLowe

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Point taken about Jimmy Giuffre if you (and/or Dan Morgenstern) refer specifically to bop (I was more thinking of modern jazz in the general sense of "post-swing"). I agree about Tony Scott (his pre-Asian recordings, of course, in this context) being an acquired taste but at any rate he had a voice of his own. The Most brothers were on my mind when I wrote "Who else" and my fault I did not think of Sachs, Wickman and Kühn. ;) (BTW, how about Hank d'Amico for another first-generation bop clarinetist who rose in the 40s?)

I agree that Buddy De Franco was a calibre all of his own but at any rate, there WERE other modern/bop clarinetists who were no slouches either.

Getting back to Buddy DeFranco's recordings, a question to those more familiar with his recorded output: What's the general story behind his MGM period? I have some of his 78s as well as a 10" LP and some of the reissued tracks on Classics and generally like them but wonder a bit about where to site them. A bit ballad-heavy for some tastes and some of his playing does seem a bit .. shall we say ... "straight" to me. Did he try to go for a share of the pop market there?

Don't know D'Amico beyond the mid-'40s but don't recall him as particularly modern, as in boppish, player but as attractively warm and gentle.

As for Scott, check out Bill Crow's assault on him in The Jazz Review in 1959:

http://jazzstudiesonline.org/resource/jazz-review-vol-2-no-6-july-1959-0

which an issue or so later led to a letter in defense of Scott from Bill Evans. The Crow piece is interesting because I don't think of him as a malicious person, though he is a man of firm opinions -- witness his famous piece about touring Russia with Benny Goodman:

http://www.billcrowbass.com/billcrowbass.com/To_Russia_Without_Love.html

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I don't know what it took to get a bug up Bill Crow's ass, but it seems like maybe not all that much...no matter.

RIP Buddy DeFranco, a man who led a dedicated life to be sure. I never really "felt" him, but found no deficiency on his part (nor on mine) for that being the case. And let's not forget his bass clarinet work on Vee0Jay, with Lee Morgan on onboard!

As for Tony Scott, though, I've heard his earlier work and his later work, and the criticism of the earlier seems pretty much well-founded, but something happened to him, Zwn Vervitation or something, who knows, and all that silliness went away, to be replaced with a pretty damn strong personal voice of substance, imo. The devices/mannerisms were still there, but the timing and the energy had deepened, and stories started being told, yarns spun, recounted. There was gravitas in the house.

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One of a kind. Goodbye, Buddy.

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I read some of Crow's other reviews, and he seems to complain about many players; Pepper Adams 'unbearable sound on sustained notes', Johnny Griffin's,'pinched

sound', Oscar Pettiford's playing, and many others. I'm glad he got a taste of his own medicine when Chuck Israels reviewed a record he played on, and found Crow's

rhythm section playing severely lacking. Bill Evans' letter also expressed puzzlement over his negativity about Scott, and Crow's review of the Metronome Encyclopedia.

Scott could be obnoxious when he got carried away on some of his recorded jam sessions, but he sounded fine on many of his studio LPs.

Maybe Crow had a bad day at his job at Local 802, or someone turned down his Jazz Anecdotes book... :rhappy:

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if we are talking clarinetists other than DeFranco - and modernists - Danny Polo.

I also like Rod Cless.

though the greatest I ever heard was Art Pepper. He was astounding. And more boppish on clarinet than on alto. No fake Trane-isms. Boston in the '70s during his comeback tour.

Edited by AllenLowe

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if we are talking clarinetists other than DeFranco - and modernists - Danny Polo.

I also like Rod Cless.

though the greatest I ever heard was Art Pepper. He was astounding. And more boppish on clarinet than on alto. No fake Trane-isms. Boston in the '70s during his comeback tour.

There's too little Art on clarinet. What I have heard has always intrigued .

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if we are talking clarinetists other than DeFranco - and modernists - Danny Polo.

I also like Rod Cless.

though the greatest I ever heard was Art Pepper. He was astounding. And more boppish on clarinet than on alto. No fake Trane-isms. Boston in the '70s during his comeback tour.

There's too little Art on clarinet. What I have heard has always intrigued .

Agreed--way too little. Sure wish Art had done a clarinet album.

gregmo

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After listening to a mid-forties Tommy Dorsey side this morning, a question occurred to me. Does anyone know which alto part DeFranco played during his tenure with Dorsey - lead or second? (Or third, as the second alto part is often labelled on charts.)

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sorry, not to answer that - but I saw Dave Schidklraut play clarinet once and his wife told me "Buddy Rich said Dave was the greatest clarinetist he ever heard after Artie Shaw."

Edited by AllenLowe

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and, last but not least, DeFranco seemed to be a lovely, classy man. So glad I was there when he received his NEA Award in NY around 2006.

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Interesting. When I interviewed DeFranco many years ago, I asked him about other "modern" clarinetists. He brought up Schikdkraut himself in the course of the discussion.

sorry, not to answer that - but I saw Dave Schidklraut play clarinet once and his wife told me "Buddy Rich said Dave was the greatest clarinetist he ever heard after Artie Shaw."

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Sadly, I am rather late to this topic. As many of you know over the years I have been a great champion of Buddy DeFRanco, and a self-proclaimed "number one fan." His death was a very personall loss for me. That said, I want to respond to this question about his MGM period. I first "discovered" Buddy's music in far-off Cape Town when I was twelve years old, after taking up the clarinet. I was in a music store when the clerk (Bernie .. he became a trusted advisor) recommended that I try listening to DeFranco rather than Goodman, or Shaw, and he sold me a 10" 78 of "Carioca"backed by "Just One Of Those Things" ... I was never the same after that ... it also somewhat demoralized me in that I realized that I could never ever hope to play like that. I acquired every MGM DeFranco I could find and this was the true start of my life-long relationship with jazz. The very first LP I ever purchased was a 10" of DeFranco's "KIng Of The Clarinet" -- which now sits in a glass frame on the wall of my study. These MGM singles have been reissued over the years, the best collection being on the Hep label ... Many of the quartet sides feature Art Blakey and Kenny Drew, and they are consummate "bop" interpretations. I still marvel at DeFranco's advanced harmonic explorations, and it is no wonder that Charlie Parker considered DeFranco so highly. So ... I do not consider these to be tentative explorations, but high;y confident and mature interpretations in the bop idiom. They are essential for any DeFranco fan.

Point taken about Jimmy Giuffre if you (and/or Dan Morgenstern) refer specifically to bop (I was more thinking of modern jazz in the general sense of "post-swing"). I agree about Tony Scott (his pre-Asian recordings, of course, in this context) being an acquired taste but at any rate he had a voice of his own. The Most brothers were on my mind when I wrote "Who else" and my fault I did not think of Sachs, Wickman and Kühn. ;) (BTW, how about Hank d'Amico for another first-generation bop clarinetist who rose in the 40s?)

I agree that Buddy De Franco was a calibre all of his own but at any rate, there WERE other modern/bop clarinetists who were no slouches either.

Getting back to Buddy DeFranco's recordings, a question to those more familiar with his recorded output: What's the general story behind his MGM period? I have some of his 78s as well as a 10" LP and some of the reissued tracks on Classics and generally like them but wonder a bit about where to site them. A bit ballad-heavy for some tastes and some of his playing does seem a bit .. shall we say ... "straight" to me. Did he try to go for a share of the pop market there?

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