Wailers continues to refine Buddy DeFranco's signature fusion of swing and bop -- boasting support from trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison, guitarist Barney Kessel and pianist Jimmy Rowels -- it's arguably the most lissome and soulful of the clarinetist's Verve LPs. The majority of tracks expand past the three-minute mark, affording DeFranco the opportunity to stretch his solos in new forms and directions. Songs like "A Fine Romance" and "Perfidia" radiate with the energy of invention and collaboration. Definitive's 2006 reissue adds three cuts from a 1957 live date with Sonny Clark and Tal Farlow, including a luminous rendition of "I Loves You Porgy." ~ Jason Ankeny
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