Friday, August 7, 2009

After Hours

Count Basie. Basie Boogie

When I first saw this, I was like, "Who is that clarinet player? He sounds worse than Buddy freakin' DeFranco!" Well, it turns out that it is Buddy freakin' DeFranco. You'll recall that Buddy took over the Glenn Miller Orchestra when Tex Beneke got tired of playing the same 15 tunes over and over again. He was never a match for Basie. Very few were. This small ensemble outing features the late great Wardell Gray on tenor sax, the unstoppable Clark Terry on trumpet and the wonderful Freddy Green on guitar. I'm very fond of all three of these guys. Gray was an excellent player who died way too young, Terry is damn nearly 90 and still playing, and Green played with the Basie band for more than 50 years and never took a solo. In case you're interested, DeFranco is still kicking, too. I have no idea when this was made. It had to be before 1955, otherwise Gray would have had a lot of trouble playing, what with the broken neck and all. From the cut of the suits, I'd say early fifties. There's nothing revolutionary about this tune or its performance; it's just a sweet little 12-bar blues played by some of the better musicians of the day. And Buddy freakin' DeFranco.

No comments: