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Discussion Starter #1
The next few months I'm working on my project- I've picked 6 specific players who have mastered both saxophone and flute, and who seemed to do some ground breaking stuff on flute to bring that voice to the next level in jazz history.

Frank Wess is the first one on the timeline. Any advice on recordings, best solos to transcribe, transcriptions I can analyze, interesting biographical info., photographs, books,articles, etc. would be much appreciated.

View attachment 204081

This flute solo on "Cute" is probably the most recognizable.



I'm listening to this album this morning:


You gave me a lot of ideas on Joe Farrell, so I'm hoping to get lots of good input! :)
 

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Album to check out: The Flute Mastery of Frank Wess ... Every cut on there is spectacular! You could literally pick anything to analyze or transcribe.

I transcribed Cute on my flute late last year. IF you want a copy of the solo to analyze just let me know and I can send it to you.



This article is really cool and has a whole paragraph on Frank and how he started on Jazz flute. http://www.flutehistory.com/Playing/Jazz.php3

Also check out Wayman Carver. Not sure if he is on your radar, but he was Frank's teacher and the earliest known Sax Flute Doubler that laid down some seriously tasty flute solos in the 1930's. He's also talked about in that article.

Nice Wayman Solo here. You can TOTALLY here where Frank got his approach, bounce and sound from in this.

 

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Simon- thank you for the resources- I'll definitely check those out. I'm interested in finding out how he studied flute, so that's good to know where who his teacher was- and I have the "Cute" transcription.

Here's a great "Lush Life"-

 

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Simon: Regarding "The Flute Mastery of Frank Wess"- so good! And yes, many possibilities of things I could transcribe for my project. Apparently this is the first and only all-flute session he recorded. The original six-track recording program includes the standards "Lover Come Back to Me," "Spring Is Here," and "There Is No Greater Love," Ellington's "Battle Royal," and two Wess originals in "Nada Mas" and "Riled Up"- and some alternate takes. I learned he won Down Beat critic's poll for flute for 6 years in a row (1959-1964).

 

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Simon: Regarding "The Flute Mastery of Frank Wess"- so good! And yes, many possibilities of things I could transcribe for my project. Apparently this is the first and only all-flute session he recorded. The original six-track recording program includes the standards "Lover Come Back to Me," "Spring Is Here," and "There Is No Greater Love," Ellington's "Battle Royal," and two Wess originals in "Nada Mas" and "Riled Up"- and some alternate takes. I learned he won Down Beat critic's poll for flute for 6 years in a row (1959-1964).


YES !!! Good stuff indeed. This album is on rotation all the time for me :)

I'm glad you are digging it. Keep updating this thread with what you learn. I appreciate it.

I will try and find these interviews with Frank where he talks about studying flute with classical players in Boston.
 

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I forgot about this because I havent listened in a while, but Frank plays flute on the Elvin Jones album "Elvin!"

Another KILLIN' album to check out.

He also plays on 2 other Elvin albums. Not as much flute on those as the first.

Love those records!!

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 

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He played on Dexter Gordon's "Sophisticated Giant". Can't remember if he solos.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I will try and find these interviews with Frank where he talks about studying flute with classical players in Boston.
That would be great- some of this information is hard to find, as well as biographical info.
 

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I agree Sonja absolutely amazing recording and a great album too. Love that Prestige sound and it shines as both Dorothy Ashby and Frank Wess sound so detailed in the mix. Research Tim Price’s posts about Wess on SOTW, to say he’s an aficionado of Frank would be an understatement.

Holy cow how cool is that!
 

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Simon great article and I’ve read it before, it’s an oversight not to mention Gigi Gryce though.

Album to check out: The Flute Mastery of Frank Wess ... Every cut on there is spectacular! You could literally pick anything to analyze or transcribe.

I transcribed Cute on my flute late last year. IF you want a copy of the solo to analyze just let me know and I can send it to you.



This article is really cool and has a whole paragraph on Frank and how he started on Jazz flute. http://www.flutehistory.com/Playing/Jazz.php3

Also check out Wayman Carver. Not sure if he is on your radar, but he was Frank's teacher and the earliest known Sax Flute Doubler that laid down some seriously tasty flute solos in the 1930's. He's also talked about in that article.

Nice Wayman Solo here. You can TOTALLY here where Frank got his approach, bounce and sound from in this.

 

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Discussion Starter #13
I agree Sonja absolutely amazing recording and a great album too. Love that Prestige sound and it shines as both Dorothy Ashby and Frank Wess sound so detailed in the mix. Research Tim Price’s posts about Wess on SOTW, to say he’s an aficionado of Frank would be an understatement.
I'll check out Tim Price's posts- that's what I need- an aficionado!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
School started and I'm looking at Frank Wess recordings, etc. for my grad project. Does anyone know of some interviews where he talks about studying flute with classical players in Boston?
 

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The next few months I'm working on my project- I've picked 6 specific players who have mastered both saxophone and flute, and who seemed to do some ground breaking stuff on flute to bring that voice to the next level in jazz history.

Frank Wess is the first one on the timeline. Any advice on recordings, best solos to transcribe, transcriptions I can analyze, interesting biographical info., photographs, books,articles, etc. would be much appreciated.

View attachment 204081

This flute solo on "Cute" is probably the most recognizable.



I'm listening to this album this morning:


You gave me a lot of ideas on Joe Farrell, so I'm hoping to get lots of good input! :)
I can tell you that I got to hang out with Frank a bit, I made his tenor mouthpiece. He was one of the nicest guys I've ever met, a true gentleman and a hell of a player. Good luck with your project, you picked a great subject. Phil Barone
 

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Hi Sonja, The Guardian published a full account of Frank Wess’ life and work in their obituary for him. He studied/tutored with flautist Wallace Mann of the National Symphony Orchestra at the Modern School of Music in Washington after WWII with the G.I. Bill he earned as a veteran of the U.S. Army. I hope that’s helpful information, the article is online and is good source material.
 

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Have you checked out Peter Westbrook's book and video, " The Flute in Jazz, a window on World Music". The title is a little misleading as it is a book mainly about the flute in jazz and the video has many clips of all the great flutists in Jazz. The book has an interview with tons of fantastic flutists, Frank Wess is in there too.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Phil- That is very cool! I've read others accounts that concur that he was a terrific guy, which makes listening to his recordings even better.
Lambros- Thank you- I'll look at that one- there are a bunch of obituaries and I'm sure some of them are more informative about his life than others- I'll definitely check that one out.
noresponse- I wasn't familiar with that book- thank you!
 

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Only problem is I'm having trouble finding either the book or video ("The Flute in Jazz, a window on World Music") and it looks really good, although there are some clips on Youtube.
 
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