Following a stint leading the ghost band of Glen Miller between 1966 and 1974, Buddy DeFranco made several recordings under his own name in 1977, although this live date at Rick's Cafe in Chicago first became available commercially in 1999. With pianist Willie Pickens (a Chicago legend who still deserves greater recognition outside his home town), bassist Todd Coolman, and drummer Jerry Coleman, the veteran clarinetist is playing in top form with his pickup group. None of the tunes are particularly surprising choices, as they had to pick material familiar to everyone, but DeFranco and Pickens clearly inspire one another with their playing, as five of the seven tracks extend over ten minutes. The lovely interpretation of "Yesterdays" and a driving Latin-flavored "Love for Sale" are among the high points of this warmly recommended live set.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden