From the Attic of My Mind – Sam Most, flute – Xanadu/ Elemental

by | Dec 29, 2015 | Jazz CD Reviews

A 1978 session with one of the top jazz flutists around.

From the Attic of My Mind – Sam Most, flute – Xanadu Master Edition 906074 (digitally remastered by Elemental Music) [6/30/15] ****:

(Sam Most, flute; Kenny Barron, piano; George Mraz, bass; Warren Smith, percussion; Walter Bolden, drums)

The late Most (died in 2013) really brought the flute into jazz as a solo voice, and has been a musical innovator for decades. Leonard Feather called him the first great jazz flutist. He played with Tommy Dorsey, Don Redman, Chris Connor and Paul Qunichettte, among others, and was a band member of the Buddy Rich band. He made three albums for the Xanadu label, of which this was the third. He was named by Down Beat as the New Star on Flute in 1954. Flute has been one of my personal favorite instruments in jazz, so this reissue really peaked my interest.

The eight tracks on it are all originals by Most. That was the suggestion of Don Schlitten, CEO of the former Xanadu label. There are lovely ballads as well as good swingers. All of his sidemen are terrific, even though Most had not performed with them before. He had a certain meticulousness about everything concerning his playing and recording. A flute and piano line is prominent in many of the tracks, and his “Breat of Love” is a samba recalling the Brazilian music invasion. Bassist George Mraz gets to be resourceful during “Blue Hue.” “Child of the Forest” was inspired by Sam’s study of the music of the Hungarian composer/conductor Tibor Serly, and has a folksong-like character. Sonics on the CD are excellent.

There’s a 2001 documentary film on Most’s life, titled Sam Most, Jazz Flutist.

What is, is; Breath of Love; Blue Hue; You Are Always the One; Child of the Forest; One Forgotten Yesterday; Keep Moving; Out of Sight, in Mind

—John Henry

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