Air Mail Special, a reissue CD put out in 1990, has seven of the eight songs originally on Palo Alto's Jazz Party/First Time Together and three numbers from the Tall Trees release Now's The Time. Since both of those labels are extinct, this was a welcome reissue although it would have been preferable to have the two original sets intact. Vibraphonist Terry Gibbs and clarinetist Buddy DeFranco always made for a compatible and mutually inspiring team. Every tune of theirs seems to end up being uptempo or at least doubletime with the vibraphonist constantly pushing the clarinetist. They blend together quite well and their tradeoffs are generally outstanding; on "Blues For Brady" they race through all 12 keys. The rhythm section (pianist Frank Collett, bassist Andy Simpkins and drummer Jimmie Smith) is a bit overshadowed but keeps up with the lead voices on this consistently exciting set.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow