Flutology

Flutology

Flutology


Frank Wess is a true jazz master. After the first fledging efforts of Wayman Carver and Harry Klee in the ‘30s and ‘40s respectively, he almost single-handedly legitimized the flute as a swinging jazz instrument with the Count Basie Orchestra beginning in 1953. (About the same time Herbie Mann and Bud Shank started getting noticed, too.) The tenor sax-playing alumni of the Billy Eckstine and Lucky Millinder bands made prominent use of the flute in solos with the Basie juggernaut for more than a decade. He delved into bebop with stunning success on vibes master Milt Jackson’s great 1956 LP Opus de Jazz and as an in-demand freelancer in New York City. Going strong for decades now, Wess has made memorable contributions to Clark Terry’s big band, to the New York Jazz Quartet, to Dameronia (Philly Joe Jones’s Tadd Dameron tribute band of the ‘80s), and to collaborations with, among other notables, former Basie band colleague Frank Foster. Wess’s large discography, his earliest feature sides were cut for Savoy, include many gems. His exceptional flute graces, to name just two, Entre Nous (Concord Jazz, 1991) and Surprise! Surprise! (Chiaroscuro, 1995).…full bio

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