Smith_span3 Defranco-1949_span3
June 2007

Stuff Smith
The Complete 1936-1937 Sessions
HEP Records
Buddy DeFranco
1949-52 Studio Performances
HEP Records

The Hep label from Scotland has long compiled not only new bop-oriented sessions but important reissues. Stuff Smith’s The Complete 1936-1937 Sessions has the studio sides and a few broadcast appearances by the great band that violinist Smith led at the Onyx Club co-starring trumpeter Jonah Jones. The heated swing group, which had a hit with “I’se A Muggin’,” is heard at its best on such numbers as “I Hope Gabriel Likes My Music,” “Old Joe’s Hittin’ the Jug” and the classic “Here Comes the Man With the Jive.”

Also from Hep is Buddy DeFranco’s 1949-52 Studio Performances. The CD has all of the bop clarinetist’s earliest recordings as a leader, including George Russell’s futuristic “A Bird in Igor’s Yard,” sextet numbers with vibraphonist Teddy Charles and Max Roach, and all of the selections from the short-lived Buddy DeFranco Big Band.

Originally published in June 2007
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