(3LPs on 2 CDs) The recordings in the present set are typically fluent, compelling De Franco music in a first-class small combo setting. “I never abandoned the idea of being able to experience a somatic feeling in addition to the intellectual experience of modern music. Both are essential. You gotta have both—the cerebral and the feel, the funk.”
Individually De Franco and Harry “Sweets” Edison blow with the confidence and assertiveness that have become their hallmarks. Kessel takes care of business, lying quietly in the background until it comes his turn to solo, then leaping out to have his say. Jimmy Rowles, Herbie Mann, Bob Hardaway, and the rest of the men playing here are deeply swinging in healthly, mainstream fashion.
One of the attractions is the delicacy of some of the ensemble textures and the way in which basic harmonies have been amended to fit the character of these 1959 De Franco Septette. There’s a lot of great listening here whatever your bias.
It will be just fine if it does help bring the clarinet back!
01. Sunday (Conn-Miller-Krueger-Styne) 5:42
02. Between the Devil and the Blue Sea (Arlen-Koehler) 9:19
03. Tea for Two (Youmans-Caesar) 4:55
04. Ballad Medley (11:54)
- 'Round Midnight (Hanighen-Williams-Monk)
- You Don’t Know What Love Is (Raye-DePaul)
- How Can We Be Wrong? (Schwartz-Stillman-Dietz)
- Lullaby of the Leaves (Petkere-Young)
- Yesterdays (Kern-Harbach)
05. Blue Lou (Sampson-Mills) 4:28
06. Funky’s Oncle (DeFranco-Kessel) 9:02
07. Oh, Lady Be Good! (Gershwin-Gershwin) 4:02
08. Satin Doll (Ellington) 6:06
09. My Funny Valentine (Rodgers-Hart) 3:02
10. Blues for Space Travelers (Kessel) 4:46
Total time: 63:09 min.
Sources CD 1:
Tracks ##1-6 originally issued on the 12" LP
"Generalissimo" (Verve MG V-8363).
Tracks ##7-10 originally issued on the 12" LP
"Live Date!" (Verve MG V-8383).
01. Tin Reed Blues (DeFranco) 7:01
02. Ballad Medley (6:36)
- I’m Glad There Is You (Madeira-Dorsey)
- There’s No You (Durgtom-Adair-Hopper)
- These Foolish Things (Strachey-Link-Marvell)
03. Crazy Rhythm (Meyer-Kahn-Caesar) 5:23
04. Just Squeeze Me (Ellington-Gains) 8:44
05. Undecided (Shavers-Robin) 4:04
06. Ja-Da (Carleton) 8:33
07. Ballad Medley (6:32)
- Now I Lay Me Down To Dream (Howard-Fiorito)
- Honey (Simons-Whiting-Gillespie)
- This Love of Mine (Sinatra-Sanacola)
- Darn That Dream (Van Heusen-DeLange)
08. Lulu’s Back in Town (Warren-Dubin) 6:02
09. Ballad Medley (5:54)
- Old Folks (Hill-Robinson)
- How Long Has This Been Going On (Gershwin-Gershwin)
- Please (Rainger-Robin)
10. Witty (DeFranco) 4:22
Total time: 63:35 min.
Sources CD 2:
Tracks ##1-3 originally issued on the 12" LP
"Live Date!" (Verve MG V-8383).
Tracks ##4-10 originally issued on the 12" LP
"Bravura" (Verve MG V-8315).
Personnel on "Generalissimo":
Harry “Sweets” Edison (tp), Buddy De Franco(cl), Bob Hardaway (ts), Jimmy Rowles (p), Barney Kessel (g), Curtis Counce (b) and Alvin Stoller (d).
Recorded at Radio Recorders, Hollywood, on April 2, 1959.
Personnel on "Live Date!":
Buddy De Franco (cl), Herbie Mann (fl), Victor Feldman (vb), Pete Jolly (p, acc), Barney Kessel (g), Scott LaFaro (b) and Frank De Vito (d).
Recorded at Radio Recorders, Hollywood, on April 4, 1959.
Personnel on "Bravura":
Harry “Sweets” Edison (tp), Buddy De Franco (cl), Herbie Mann (fl, bcl), Jimmy Rowles (p), Barney Kessel (g), Joe Mondragon (b) and Mel Lewis (d).
Recorded at Radio Recorders, Hollywood, on April 5, 1959.