Buddy DeFranco

5 Notes of Blues

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Buddy DeFranco plays with a French rhythm section on this pair of 1991 concerts. Having celebrated his 68th birthday earlier in the year, the clarinetist is in top form, while the band fits his bop style very well. DeFranco's loping, melancholy "Five Notes of Blues" is an early highlight, with the leader adding a few surprising dissonant twists. His revival of Henry Mancini's "Mister Lucky" is a buoyant effort, with pianist Alain Jean-Marie providing lively bossa nova accompaniment. The rambling setting of the old chestnut "Moon Song" and the playful take of "Jitterbug Waltz" are both throwbacks to the pre-bop era. Sadly, this valuable CD has proved increasingly difficult to acquire since the demise of Musidisc during the mid-'90s.

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