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SAM MOST, Flute, Alto Flute, Bass Flute

FRANK COLLETT, Piano and Piano Arrangements

THE U.K. STRING ORCHESTRA, Conducted by Jorge Calandrelli

String Arrangements by:

JORGE CALANDRELLI, tracks 1), 3) and 6)

DORI CAYMMI, tracks 4) and 7)


Produced by Fernando Gelbard for (p) ©1987 Art Sound Productions, Inc. licenced to (p) ©2008™

Recording Engineer: Phil Sheridan

Associate Producer: Mitchell Glickman

Mixing by Phil Sheridan, Fernando Gelbard, Jorge Calandrelli

Recorded March 26-27 1986 at Sage & Sound Studios, Hollywood, CA

Strings Recorded August 5;

Mixed August 6-7 1986 at CTS Studios, London, England

Mastering: Michael Bashears (Dave Pell Digital) Peter Norman (McClear Place), Maria Puga Lareo (My Keter Records)

Original Digital Recording Cover Design: Charles Reimers, Ed Francis

Art Direction: Maria Puga Lareo

Photos: Ken Roupenian



Producer Fernando Gelbard plays both piano and flute. So does Sam Most. (And so did Bill Evans). Frank Collett plays only piano, although he does that superbly. And in a manner—as he is quick to tell you—that reflects his admiration for the late and very much lamented Mr. Evans, whose experience with the flute was almost certainly influential in the development of that golden tone he had. Fernando, who knows whereof he speaks, says that he would like to play piano like Frank Collett and flute like Sam Most. There being an element of fantasy fulfillment in the work of any conscientious producer, Fernando put the two of them together to play for a private party in 1986. The results were so attractive that he proposed to Frank and Sam that the two of them record a duo album. Sam Most is widely considered to be the pioneer of jazz flute. Experiments with the instrument as an improvising voice go back to the 1930s, but Leonard Feather, whose fix on the history of jazz is quite acute, has said, “Justice should demand that the history books document Most’s role as the first truly creative jazz flutist.” Whoever was the very first to do it, the late Charles Mingus, who was not given to careless praise, said of Sam, “He is the world’s greatest jazz flute player,” and Hubert Laws has said that Sam was one of his inspirations from the beginning. Born in Atlantic City December 16, 1930, Sam became highly visible (or rather audible) as a jazz flutist in the early 1950s. In the 60s he played with Buddy Rich, Louis Bellson, and Red Norvo, then settled in California to alternate between studio and jazz work. Eleven years his junior, Frank Collett was born in Brooklyn May 31, 1941. Like so many of the best jazz pianists—going all the way back to the 1920s, contrary to legend—Frank had very good legitimate piano training, more than ten years of it. He played gigs in New York City in the 1960s, then took part in the considerable migration to Los Angeles that was then under way. He worked for two years with Shelly Manne, was Carmen McRae’s accompanist for some time, then Sarah Vaughan’s for two years. Both ladies being accomplished pianists themselves, and singers being particularly fussy about pianists, these two tenures tell you much about his responsive sensitivity. And that is the quality so necessary to the duo format originally planned for this album. Part way through the sessions, Fernando began to think about adding strings. The project was already somewhat international, and it soon became more so. Fernando is from Argentina. And he had brought Phil Sheridan out to L.A. from Toronto for the sessions. Now he put three arrangers to work on the string writing—Jorge Calandrelli, a fellow Argentinian now resident in California, Christian Chevalier in France, and Dori Caymmi in Brazil. And he decided to add the strings in England, for the good reason that they have good strings in England, and engaged the U.K. String Orchestra. Jorge Calandrelli went with him to conduct. The album was completed and mixed in August 1986. The tunes are standards, excepting “Any Time Any Season,” an original that Fernando and Sam wrote for the session. The chord changes on “Spring is Here,” Frank says, came from Bill Evans. “I transcribed them from his ‘Portrait in Jazz’ album,” Frank said. The string writing is by Christian Chevalier. Interestingly, two of the tunes are by another man who happens to play flute and piano, Henry Mancini. “Days Of Wine And Roses,” which has a lyric by Johnny Mercer, has been a huge standard for years with both singers and jazz players. Sam plays bass flute on this track. The instrument, a complicated arrangement of pipes that has been called the plumber’s nightmare, is little used in the symphonic repertoire because it has very little projection, unless you use it close to a microphone. It was almost single-handedly brought into film scoring by Henry Mancini, who happens to know about flutes, to attain dark and mysterious dramatic effects. And that’s what the instrument does here. Note Jorge Calandrelli’s string writing on this track. The other Mancini tune heard here is nowhere near as well-known. “Two for the Road” is from a marvelous bittersweet comedy that starred Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney. It sank swiftly from sight, taking with it, alas, one of Hank’s most affecting scores. This is the main theme. Frank has been playing it for years. The writing on this one is by Dori Caymmi. Three of the tunes—“Like Someone in Love,” “Lover,” and “Yesterdays”—are left in their original format. The piano is a difficult instrument to record. All sorts of techniques are used to mike it, many of them bad. Phil Sheridan got a truly superb piano sound on this album. The instrument used was a six-foot-seven Mason and Hamlin. And Frank has a gorgeous crystalline touch. It could have been lost with the wrong engineer. Phil Sheridan caught it. You do not often hear piano sound like this on records. So there you have it—Any Time Any Season. And any pensive hour of the night, for an album like this.

Gene Lees

Copyright (p) © 2008 All rights reserved.