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Buddy DeFranco dies at 91; first clarinetist to master bebop
Buddy DeFranco dies at 91; first clarinetist to master bebop

Buddy DeFranco, a jazz clarinetist who played with the big swing bands of Tommy Dorsey, Charlie Barnet and Gene Krupa, the Count Basie Septet and the George Shearing Trio and is considered the first player to authentically play bebop on the clarinet, has died. He was 91. DeFranco died Wednesday in Panama City, Fla., after a period of declining health, according to his wife, Joyce. Admired for his mastery of the clarinet in his early career as a swing band musician, DeFranco came to full prominence in the late 1940s and early '50s. Although the clarinet had been a stellar swing-era instrument in the hands of bandleaders such as Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw and Woody Herman, it did not...

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