Buddy DeFranco on the hit "Opus One"

Now, a Jazz Moment...

MUSIC: "Opus One" CD: This is Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra, v.1, Collectables COL-2815 DRC1-2910 (cut 19)

This 1940s smash hit "Opus One" was the very first recording that NEA Jazz Master Buddy DeFranco made with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. Unfortunately, on the take that Dorsey chose for the record, Buddy had played a solo that he didn't really like. But he had no choice except to live with it -- not only on the record, but in every single live performance thereafter.

Buddy DeFranco: Tommy came to me and he says "'Opus One' is getting a little warm so therefore you will play the same solo as on the record." And that was devastating to me because I not only didn't like the solo, but I didn't like to keep playing the same thing because you had to play that 5 times a day and in the night programs you had to play it two or three times over and over again the same solo. It was boring and not creative. It's exactly what I told Tommy one time. I said "It's not creative to play the same solo." And he said, "Well you can be creative on somebody else's band. You're through." And he fired me.

MUSIC: same - post through Buddy's solo

Tommy Dorsey was known as one of the toughest guys in the business. But after a few months, he made amends with Buddy.

Buddy DeFranco: I joined him again and we came to a compromise. I played that solo, but on every other solo that I had, I played what I wanted to play. He gave me that freedom.

This Jazz Moment with clarinetist Buddy DeFranco was produced by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Buddy DeFranco on the hit "Opus One"