Frank Wess

The Flute Mastery of Frank Wess

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This excellent 1981 date from Frank Wess is, as its title suggests, the first -- and only -- all-flute session from the man who brought the instrument to prominence as a soloist in creative mainstream jazz during the 1950s. Wess -- also a fine saxophonist -- has a list of credits including the Billy Eckstine Orchestra in the late '40s and Count Basie's legendary 1950s band with Frank Foster. He won the Down Beat critic's poll for flute for six consecutive years between 1959 and 1964. The Flute Mastery of Frank Wess was produced by Gus Statiras, and the session's other personnel include bassist George Mraz, pianist Tommy Flanagan, and drummer Ben Riley. The original six-track program includes lovely readings of the standards "Lover Come Back to Me," "Spring Is Here," and "There Is No Greater Love," Duke Ellington's "Battle Royal," and two excellent Wess originals in "Nada Mas" and "Riled Up." In addition are bonus cuts that feature alternate takes of the standards as well as "Nada Mas."

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