Med Flory (as, ts, vcl, arr), Conte Candoli, John Bello, Al Derisi, Jerry Kail, Doug Mettome, Joe Burnett, Ed Leddy, Jack Holman, Ray Triscari, Lee Katzman, Al Porcino, Jack Hohmann (tp), Billy Byers, Urbie Green, Milt Gold, Bob Burgess, Dave Wells (tb), Hal McKusick (cl, as, ts), Charlie Kennedy, Joe Maini (as), Richie Kamuca, Al Cohn, Bill Perkins, Bill Masinghill, Arno Marsh (ts), Jack Agee, Leo Anthony, Bill Hood (bs), John Williams, John Banister, Russ Freeman (p), Jim Hall (g), Teddy Kotick, Red Mitchell, Tom 'Red' Kelly, Buddy Clark (b), Art Mardigan, Mel Lewis (d)
Reference: FSRCD 923
Bar code: 8427328609234
Although saxophonist Med Flory (1926-2014) was associated with the West Coast jazz scene for most of his life, he started his career in New York in 1950, playing with the bands of Claude Thornhill, Art Mooney, Woody Herman and Tommy Tucker. In 1954 he had his own band there and he did his recording debut as a leader for Mercury’s jazz label, EmArcy.
While freelancing around New York, he recorded as a sideman with groups led by trumpeter Dick Collins, trombonist Urbie Green, pianist Nat Pierce, but in October 1955, Ray Anthony, who was touring the country with his band, hired him. By February 1956 they had arrived in Los Angeles and Flory decided to settle there, where he wrote arrangements for such combos as Billy Usselton’s and Dave Pell’s. Eventually he did some fine swinging arrangements for a 14-piece band that drew heavily on Anthony’s personnel, recording them for Kapp on March 12, 1956; the highlight of the session was his own Joanie’s Jump, a truly swinging piece with a Basie-like opening ensemble.
The following year he assembled a great band featuring Al Porcino’s superb lead trumpet work and recording for the Jubilee label, the album “Jazz Wave.” Their spirit, and the quality of the writing by Flory, Bill Holman, Bob Enevoldsen, Lennie Niehaus and Bill Hood, turned these big band sessions into jazz of the highest order. This compilation closes with two tracks by a saxophone band that Med Flory formed in 1959, called “The Sax Maniacs,” a concept he would revisit later with his renowned band “Supersax”.
01. Straight Ahead (Med Flory) 2:32
02. No Thanks (Al Cohn) 2:59
03. The Fuzz (Al Cohn) 2:53
04. Three Times Around (Med Flory) 3:02
05. Wonderful You (Al Cohn) 5:18
06. Joanie’s Jump (Med Flory) 3:06
07. Plain Jane Snavely (Bob Brookmeyer) 3:25
08. I Love You, That’s All (Med Flory) 2:09
09. Jazz Wave (Med Flory) 2:23
10. An Occasional Man (Martin-Blane) 2:56
11. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Arlen-Koehler) 3:04
12. Ocean Motion (Lennie Niehaus) 2:32
13. On a Slow Boat to China (Frank Loesser) 2:22
14. Sea Chase (Rosenshone) (Bill Hood) 2:28
15. Davy Jones (Med Flory) 5:14
16. I Cover the Waterfront (Green-Heyman) 2:27
17. Someone’s Rocking My Dreamboat (Scott-Rene-Rene) 2:56
18. Rapture of the Deep (Bob Enevoldsen) 2:40
19. Jonah and the Wail (Sy Johnson) 3:43
20. Shish-Ka-Bob (Med Flory) 2:30
21. Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen (Traditional) 2:38
Tracks #1 & 3, from the EmArcy single 16001
Tracks #2 & 4, from the EmArcy single 16011
Tracks #5-8, from the Kapp album “Modern Jazz Gallery” (KXL-5001)
Tracks #9-19, from the Jubilee album “Jazz Wave” (JLP 1066)
Tracks #20 & 21, from the World Pacific single 45-816
Personnel on #1-4: Med Flory and His Orchestra
John Bello, Al Derisi, Jerry Kail, Doug Mettome, trumpets; Billy Byers, Urbie Green, Milt Gold, trombones; Med Flory, alto & tenor sax; Hal McKusick, clarinet, alto & tenor sax; Al Cohn, tenor sax; Jack Agee, baritone sax; John Williams, piano; Teddy Kotick, bass; Art Mardigan, drums.
Arrangements: Med Flory (#1,4), Al Cohn (#2,3)
Recorded in New York, February 4, 1954
Personnel on #5-8: Med Flory and His Orchestra
Joe Burnett, Ed Leddy, Jack Holman, Ray Triscari, trumpets; Bob Burgess, Dave Wells, trombones; Med Flory, alto (#5), tenor sax (#6-8), vocals (#8); Bill Perkins, Bill Masinghill, Arno Marsh, tenor saxes; Leo Anthony, baritone sax; John Banister, piano; Tom “Red” Kelly, bass; Mel Lewis, drums.
Arrangements: Al Cohn (#5), Med Flory (#2,4), Bob Brookmeyer (#3)
Recorded in Hollywood, March 12, 1956
Personnel on #9-14: Med Flory and His Jazz Wave Orchestra
Lee Katzman, Al Porcino, Jack Hohmann, Ray Triscari, trumpets; Lew McCreary, Dave Wells, bass trumpets & trombones; Med Flory, alto & tenor sax; Charlie Kennedy, alto sax; Bill Holman, Richie Kamuca, tenor saxes; Bill Hood, baritone sax; Russ Freeman, piano; Red Kelly, bass; Mel Lewis, drums.
Arrangements: Med Flory (#9), Bill Holman (#10,11), Lennie Niehaus (#12), Bob Enevoldsen (#13), Bill Hood (#14)
Recorded in Hollywood, May 13, 1957
Personnel on #15-19:
Same personnel as in #9-14, but Conte Candoli replaces Katzman on trumpet and Buddy Clark replaces Kelly on bass.
Arrangements: Flory (#15), Enevoldsen (#16-18), Holman (#17), Sy Johnson (#19)
Recorded in Hollywood, October 8, 1957
Personnel on #20-21: Med Flory and The Sax Maniacs
Med Flory, alto & oboe; Joe Maini, alto & tenor sax; Bob Hardaway, Bill Perkins, Bill Holman, tenor saxes; Bill Hood, baritone sax; Russ Freeman, piano; Jim Hall, guitar; Red Kelly, Red Mitchell, basses; Mel Lewis, drums.
Arrangements: Med Flory (#20), Bill Holman (#21)
Recorded in Hollywood, December 1959
Jubilee cover design: Tom Hannan
Produced for CD release by Jordi Pujol
This CD is dedicated to the memory of Med Flory and Joan Durelle
Mono / Stereo · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered
"Mostly known these days as the founder of the famed Charlie Parker tribute band Supersax, alto saxist Med Flory also had an impressive career as a sideman in Claude Thornhill’s band, and lead some impressive bands on his own as well, as demonstrated by this single cd. The recordings are mostly done in Hollywood in the late 50s, but the album starts with a NYC session from ’54 with a bopping session including saxists Hal McKusick and Al Cohn for some velvety tunes such as “Straight Ahead” and “No Thanks.”
A saxy session with Bill Perkins which is driven by drummer Mel Lewis has some hip pieces like “Wonderful You” and “Joanie’s Jump” while dashes of Thornhill’s textures are felt with Richie Kamuca and Bill Holman sitting in the tenor chairs for “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea” and “Ocean Motion.” Foreshadowings of Supersax are palpable with Joe Maini, Bob Hardaway, Bill Perkins, Bill Holman, Bill Hood and the leader on reeds with cool support by Russ Freeman/p, Jim Hall/g, Red Mitchell/b and Mel Lewis/dr on “Shish-Ka-Bob” and”Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen.” Reed rapture, indeed!"
George W. Harris (April 13, 2017)
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