Billie’s Bounce – 1990

Buddy DeFranco

The masterful clarinetist stretches out on an uptempo blues

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Buddy DeFranco (1923-2014) was one of the greatest clarinetists of all time, showing the jazz world that bebop could be played on the clarinet, at least if the right person is playing the horn.

Throughout his career, DeFranco had few competitors on his instrument other than the reigning king Benny Goodman and Eddie Daniels who emerged in the 1970s/80s.

Here is Buddy DeFranco in prime form at the 1990 Yellowstone Jazz Festival (check out the backdrop), playing an uptempo version of “Billie’s Bounce” with a fine rhythm section comprised of pianist Reed Gratz, bassist Peter Huffaker, and drummer Ronnie Bedford.

DeFranco proves that he could cook and swing hard as well as any trumpeter or saxophonist.

-Scott Yanow


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