. A number of jazz reissues using strings have been finding their way beneath my laser. I reviewed Chet Baker and Strings last month in these virtual pages ( AJJ, September, 1998, Issue #11). Cleverly disguised as a standard jazz date, Buddy DeFranco and Oscar Peterson Play George Gershwin is a with strings recording and turns out to be a surprise on several other levels. First, I bought the disc because of Buddy DeFranco and thought how I wished I had bought the Buddy DeFranco/Sonny Clark Verve recordings on Mosaic when it was available. Oscar Peterson may have been the most formidable pianist in the late 1950s, but I always considered him too busy to be a complete accompanist. A second surprise stems from this first prejudice, both Peterson's and DeFranco's playing is lyrical, tasteful and evenly paced. I expected a bebop free-for-all and I heard almost a throwback to the swing era.
A Meager Wage
. The list of available Buddy DeFranco discs is very short. There are currently only three other discs: Born to Swing (Hindsight 00701), Chip Off The Old Bop (Concord 04527), and Mr. Lucky (Original Jazz Classics 00938). There have also been several Terry Gibbs-Buddy DeFranco collaborations. It would be so fine if Verve would re-release the Buddy DeFranco/Sonny Clark recordings, in spite of the Mosaic set, the same way that Blue Note re-released the complete quartets of Grant Green and Sonny Clark in spite of a similar (thought not identical) Mosaic set.
George at 100.
Undoubtedly this disc was re-released with George Gershwin's 100th birthday in mind. The performances remind me more of period pieces for swing era mavens than white-hot Bop from two splendid practitioners. These arrangements remind me of the Gershwin cacophony that permeated the Gene Kelly/Oscar Levant movie, "An American in Paris." All finely performed and wistfully transparent. An exceptional reissue.
I Wants to Stay Here, I Was Doing All Right, 'S Wonderful, Bess, You Is My Woman Now, Strike Up The Band, They Can't Take That Away From Me, The Man I Love, I Got Rhythm, Someone To Watch Over Me, It Ain't Necessarily So, I Wants to Stay Here (Alt), Someone To Watch Over Me (Alt)
Personnel: Buddy DeFranco (clarinet); Oscar Peterson (piano); Joe Pass (guitar); Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen (bass); Martin Drew (drums).
I love jazz because next to my kids, it's the love of my life.
I was first exposed to jazz by Joe Rico from a tiny station in Niagara Falls in 1954 when I was 13.
The best show I ever attended was Maynard Ferguson who blew the roof off Massey Hall in the late 50s.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to everything you can and then listen again.