Born in 1922 in Kansas City, NEA Jazz Master Frank Wess was a ripe 86 this night at the KC Jazz Club in Washington, D.C. A few months earlier, Wess’ trumpet man Terell Stafford had brought his own group to the same room. We pair highlights from the two, with Stafford playing across the hour, on this episode of JazzSet.
Raised here in Washington, D.C., Wess was a major player in the post-WWII Count Basie Orchestra. He introduced the flute to the Basie band more than half a century ago. Together, the flute and muted trumpet are a hip combination from that era. (Wess is one of the last remaining saxophonists from that post-WWII edition of the Basie band.) Together, the flute and muted trumpet are a hip combination from that era, as Wess and Stafford recall on Sonny Stitt’s bebop tune”