MUSICIANmilestones...recent obits of classical and traditional popular music performers and composers
Big Band Legend Buddy DeFranco has died
Boniface Ferdinand Leonard "Buddy" DeFranco (February 17, 1923 – December 24, 2014) was an American jazz clarinet player.
DeFranco began his professional career just as swing music and big bands — many of which were led by clarinetists like Artie Shaw, and Benny Goodman — were in decline. While most jazz clarinet players did not adapt to this change, DeFranco successfully continued to play clarinet exclusively, and was one of the few bebop clarinetists.
In 1950, DeFranco spent a year with Count Basie's Septet. He led small combo in the early 1950s which included pianist Sonny Clark and guitarist Tal Farlow. In this period, DeFranco recorded for MGM Records, Norgran and Verve, the latter two labels were owned by Norman Granz.
He was bandleader of the Glenn Miller Orchestra from 1966 to 1974, under the name, "The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra, Directed By Buddy DeFranco". He also performed with Gene Krupa, Charlie Barnet, Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson and many others, and released dozens of albums as a leader.