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Album Review

While one finds the clarinet less often in the new millennium, than say, the tenor sax, it no longer seems in danger of becoming extinct, thanks to practitioners like Buddy DeFranco. From "Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise," to the closing intensity of Charlie Parker's "Scrapple From the Apple," DeFranco, guitarist John Pizzarelli, bassist Martin Pizzarelli, pianist Ray Kennedy, and drummer Butch Miles show that even though the clarinet may be rooted in jazz past, it's far from old-fashioned. The set list includes lots of standards — "Dancing in the Dark," "Poor Butterfly," and "Gone With the Wind" — and two super upbeat pieces by DeFranco — "I Lost the Blues," and the title cut. Lengthy cuts like "East of the Sun (And West of the Moon)" allow the clarinet, guitar, and piano plenty of solo time, while bassist Martin Pizzarelli and drummer Miles keep this outfit in a steady groove. The album also includes two nice vocals by John Pizzarelli on "Prisoner of Love" and "What Is This Thing Called Love?" It's easy to forget that clarinet practitioners like Tony Scott and DeFranco took the clarinet far beyond the swing familiarized by Benny Goodman and others. Cookin' the Books, however, will serve to freshen the memory in the most enjoyable way. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi

Biography

Born: February 17, 1923 in Camden, NJ

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Buddy DeFranco is one of the great clarinetists of all time and, until the rise of Eddie Daniels, he was indisputably the top clarinetist to emerge since 1940. It was DeFranco's misfortune to be the best on an instrument that after the swing era dropped drastically in popularity and, unlike...
Full Bio
Cookin' the Books, Buddy DeFranco
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  • $9.90
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Bop
  • Released: Feb 03, 2004

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