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Number 22 in World Jazz Blog Rankings

Number 22 in World Jazz Blog Rankings

Bebop Spoken There

Alan Luff: “The general view is that Ella’s songbook recordings are the supreme exemplars of sophistication, fine diction and creative voice in the wide field of popular music.” – (Jazz Journal May 2017).

Steve Voce: “Most of us have been crashed into by cretins who walk along the road absorbed in the screens of their mobile phones.” – (Jazz Journal May 2017).

Today Tuesday May 23

Evening
Davina & the Vagabonds - Sage Gateshead. 8pm. £18.
Charles Gordon (solo piano) - Redwood Bar, Vermont Hotel, Newcastle. 10pm - midnight. Free.
Zoe Gilby: Pannonica - The Fox Inn, West End Tce., Hexham NE46 3DB. Free. 9pm.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Buddy De Franco (Feb. 17, 1923 - Dec. 24, 2014)














One of the world's great jazz clarinettists, Buddy De Franco, died on Christmas Eve.
I still get a kick out of hearing those lyrical 8 bars he played on Tommy Dorsey's 1944 recording of Opus One. Then there were the sides he made with Basie's Octet alongside Wardell Gray and Clark Terry. By this time he'd moved away from the swing era into bebop territory, his new direction coming to fruition in the memorable Hot versus Cool sessions where modernists and Dixielanders gave their versions of the same number.
He recorded with Oscar Peterson and Art Tatum for Norman Granz and it was said at the time that he was probably the only instrumentalist with a technique comparable to Tatum's.
I first heard him live fronting a version of the Glenn Miller band at Newcastle City Hall. This wasn't very satisfactory as he had little scope to stretch out although, like all Miller bands, the playing was tight and precise.
The next occasion however was outstanding! A Jazz North East concert at Caedmon Hall, Gateshead, in 1995, presented De Franco alongside ace American vibes player Terry Gibbs and a British rhythm section. He played brilliantly fully living up to the idolisation his recordings had nurtured in me.
For many years he was the automatic winner of the clarinet section of the Down Beat Readers Poll - he won 20 in all - and in later years was rarely out of the top three. Even last year, at the age of 90, he mustered 32 votes in the annual critics poll!
In the all-time ratings he ranks alongside Shaw and Goodman - possibly higher.
Buddy De Franco died December 24, 2014 aged 91.
Sadly missed.
Lance.

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Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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