KENNY DAVERN, a clarinetist and soprano saxophonist, who became an acclaimed torchbearer of traditional jazz and swing, has died. He was 71. Davern died last Tuesday (12DEC06) after a heart attack at his home in Sandia Park, New Mexico. Emphasising melody more than free-form improvisation, Davern spent five decades musically articulating the legacy of his heroes, including trumpeter Louis Armstrong and clarinetist PEE WEE RUSSELL. Davern began recording in 1954, when he joined JACK TEAGARDEN's Dixieland group and freelanced with swing and Dixieland combos. He worked with such masters as saxophonist BUD FREEMAN, Cornetist RUBY BRAFF and trumpeters PEE WEE ERWIN, PHIL NAPOLEON and WILD BILL DAVISON. His most enduring collaboration was with reed player BOB WILBER, with both men doubling on soprano sax and clarinet in the group they formed called the SOPRANO SUMMIT, which toured and recorded throughout the 1970s.