Originally recorded for Choice in 1974, Free Fall is the first jazz combo album DeFranco made under his own name in ten years, the interim largely having been devoted to leading the Glenn Miller Orchestra. When he did reemerge, however, it was when fusion was all the rage, as is clearly evident on this recording. Here, such up-tempo jazz tracks as “Free Fall” and “Yesterdays” are offset by current tunes written in the then popular bossa and modal styles. With one exception, the funky “Please Send Me Someone To Love,” the remaining numbers reflect the fashion of the day. Typically, the rhythm section is both more intrusive and more prominently favored in the mix than DeFranco needed, but while his four-part “Threat Of Freedom” is also mostly fusion, it does contain some quicksilver bop clarinet. Like “Free Fall,” the Latinized “Free Sail” is also heard in two takes, but the sequence of the alternates as printed on the trayback is reversed.
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