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Bebop Spoken There

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

RIP Franny Beecher and Paco De Lucia.

Two jazz guitarists have passed on. Franny Beecher and Paco De Lucia..
Beecher, 92, died on February 24. Di Luca a day later aged 66.
Beecher, a member of the American Music Hall of Fame, was admitted to that august establishment on the strength of his work with Bill Haley and the Comets. Jazz folk recall him as a member of Benny Goodman's band in 1949. This was around the time Benny tipped his toe into the waters of bebop and promptly withdrew it, unable to match the young Turks such as Wardell Gray, Buddy Greco and Beecher. Beecher made 23 sides with Benny before going on to record with the other BG - Buddy Greco.
A few minor hits with Buddy before he went on to join Bill Haley and The Comets who became the biggest Rock n'Roll artists in the world before Presley arrived. After Haley's death Beecher kept the Comets in orbit for many years and, in retrospect, listening to those old classics you realise there was a lot of jazz guitar in there. Sadly missed.
De Lucia also crossed the genres, in his case Spanish Flamenco and contemporary jazz recording with John McLaughlin and Chick Corea to name but a couple of jazz artists with whom he found an affinity.
His heart may have been steeped in flamenco but he also had a lot of jazz in his soul.
RIP.
Obituary.
Lance.

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