258

Buddy DeFranco: Blues Bag

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Blues Bag was originally released as Veejay 2506 (thank you, Koch, for providing this data plus the players on the outside of the package). The excellent mainstream clarinetist DeFranco plays only bass clarinet here. The sidemen include a collection of masters: Art Blakey, Lee Morgan, Curtis Fuller, Victor Feldman, Freddie Hill, and Victor Sproles.

This disc sounds like a fun night at a jazz club, although it was recorded at United Studios, Hollywood, in 1964. It features one tune each by several composers, including one by Leonard Feather (who also wrote the notes), DeFranco's "Blues Bag," Monk's "Straight, No Chaser," Feldman's "Rain Dance," Ornette's "Blues Connotation," Trane's "Cousin Mary," and Diz's "Kush." Great tunes, great players—and yet the session ends up merely pleasant.

DeFranco's own liners show he understands each tune very well. The problem, I'm guessing, is that he's relying on his solid support, yet he needs to get out there and lead by swinging. He plays his bass clarinet like he usually does his clarinet, and unfortunately he avoids utilizing the extra depth it can afford. I don't know if this was his choice, or his ability at the time, or if he was just (west) coasting... but Blues Bag ends up not at all a bad album despite this problem. Only "Kush" threatens to catch fire. Blues Bag falls short on several levels: it could've been so much more given the talent and compositions involved. Fortunately Koch includes a beautiful picture label, bluesy layout, and design.

For more information visit http://www.kochentertainment.com.


Track Listing: Blues Bag; Straight No Chaser, Rain Dance, Blues Connotation, Cousin Mary, Kush.

Personnel: Buddy DeFranco, bass clarinet, clarinet (on Rain Dance only); Lee Morgan and Freddie Hill, trumpet; Curtis Fuller, trombone; Victor Feldman, piano, vibes; Victor Sproles, bass; Abdullah Buhaina (Art Blakey), drums.

| Record Label: KOCH International Jazz | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "The Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald" CD/LP/Track Review The Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 21, 2016
Read "The Magical Forest" CD/LP/Track Review The Magical Forest
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 6, 2016
Read "Holding The Stage: Road Shows, Vol. 4" CD/LP/Track Review Holding The Stage: Road Shows, Vol. 4
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 17, 2016
Read "Binary" CD/LP/Track Review Binary
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 5, 2017
Read "Expansions: The Puzzle" CD/LP/Track Review Expansions: The Puzzle
by Budd Kopman
Published: March 16, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!