1) THE SONG IS ME (Sam Most) (4:00)
2) AUTUMN IN NEW YORK (Vernon Duke) (5:17)
3) SPEEDY SWING (Sam Most) (3:37)
4) GIANT STEPS (John Coltrane) (3:18)
5) INDIAN SUMMER (Victor Herbert) (3:47)
6) INDIE TUNE (Sam Most) (2:54)
7) JUST FRIENDS (John Klenner/Sam M. Lewis) (3:05)
8) LUSH LIFE (Billy Strayhorn) (5:10)
9) PENSATIVA (Clare Fischer) (5:02)
10) STABLEMATES (Benny Golson) (4:23)
11) THE SONG IS YOU (Jerome Kern) (4:45)
12) ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE (Jerome Kern) (5:17)
13) YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT LOVE IS (Gene de Paul/ Don Raye) (4:18)
14) YOU STEPPED OUT OF A DREAM (Nacio Herb Brown/Gus Kahn) (4:06)
SAM MOST, G Alto Flute
Produced by Fernando Gelbard
Production Coordinator, Maria Puga Lareo
Recording Engineer, Mark Vincent
Recorded July 8 and 9 , 2009 at Multi Media Studios, Hollywood
Mastering, Kurt Lundvall, Lundvall Mastering, Jersey City, New Jersey
Cover design, Amanda Pelaez
©2009 LiquidJazz.com LTD (BVI)
“Solo Flute” is the latest release from jazz’ premier flautist and elder statesmen, Sam Most. For over 50 years Sam has been the innovator and cornerstone of jazz flute performance. His accolades have been sung by fellow flautists James Moody, Hubert Laws, Yusef Lateef, and Joe Farrell, to name a few. Jazz critic and historian Leonard Feather wrote, "Justice should demand that the history books document (Sam) Most's role as the first truly creative Jazz Flutist.” He also referred to Sam as “The Godfather of Jazz Flute”.
Born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, the younger brother of clarinetist Abe Most, Sam cut his teeth early at the tender age of 18 with such bands as Tommy Dorsey, Shep Fields, Boyd Raeburn, and Don Redman. His first recording at the age of 23, a single entitled “Undercurrent Blues”, clearly established him as the first bop flutist. The very next year he was awarded Downbeat Magazine’s “Critic’s New Star Award”. Between the years of 1953-1958 Sam led and recorded sessions for Prestige, Debut, Vanguard, and Bethlehem, bringing the flute into the forefront of jazz improvisation. He also worked in different settings with Chris Connor, Paul Quinichette, and Teddy Wilson. After playing with Buddy Rich (1959-1961), Sam moved to Los Angeles and became a studio musician and also worked in Las Vegas and Palm Springs with Red Norvo. He resurfaced on the international scene in the late ‘70s with a series of recordings on the Xanadu label. Sam is also the author of two highly regarded instructional books on jazz improvisation.
Credited with being the first to “sing” through the flute, Sam relates the story that this technique was born out of necessity….the necessity to practice and, living in an apartment, to do so quietly. Instead of playing at full volume, he would play softly and sing/hum at the same time what he was playing. This technique which Sam first demonstrated during the 1950s has since been widely used by such luminaries as Roland Kirk, Jeremy Steig and Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull.
Although there’s no singing to be heard here, Sam’s latest project ventures into the rarest of all jazz settings, the truly “solo” album. No bass and drums for groove and time, no guitar or piano for harmonic content; just Sam his flute….the music….and you, the listener.
It was Sam’s producer, Fernando Gelbard, who conceived the idea to record Sam on “Solo Flute.” When asked what gave him the idea, he simply replied, “Sam makes all the changes”. How true! Jazz improvisation is all about “playing (making) the changes.” Every song has a chord progression over which the soloist lays down his ideas. When you listen to a good soloist with a rhythm section you hear the improvised lines in relation to and outlining the chord progression supplied by the piano and guitar while the bass and drums lay down the time. But what happens when you improvise without a rhythm section? In Sam’s case, nothing much changes. Sam is so prolific and proficient, that, if you listen closely, you hear the time, groove and chord progressions in the lines he weaves. No rhythm section needed.
Sam’s choice of repertoire is as diverse as his musical career. He covers such standards as “Just Friends” and “All the Things You Are” and the ballads “Autumn in New York” and “Lush Life”. But wait…there’s more! Sam really sinks his improvisational teeth into workhorses like “Giant Steps” and “Speedy Swing", Sam's composition based on Cherokee's chords), both at approximately quarter note = 230+ beats per minute (faster than my metronome will go!!).
Recorded entirely on alto flute, Sam’s instantly recognizable sound is equally effective on the bop, ballads, and standards. That sound, which is both very breathy and percussive at the same time, is unmistakably Sam Most! “Solo Flute” was recorded on Sam’s Artley Alto Flute, serial number 113065, (making it approximately 40 years old) at Multi Media Studio in Hollywood, CA by Mark Vincent.
If you are looking for an “easy listening album” this is not it. If you are looking for swinging, brilliant solo improvisation by one of jazz’ true geniuses, you have come to the right place…
Master Chief Musician, U.S. Navy
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