Sam Most

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Sam Most
Sam Most 2009.png
Most in New York City, 2009
Background information
Born (1930-12-16)December 16, 1930
Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Died June 13, 2013(2013-06-13) (aged 82)
Los Angeles, United States
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Flute, clarinet, tenor saxophone
Years active 1948 – 2013

Samuel "Sam" Most (December 16, 1930 – June 13, 2013) was an American jazz flautist, clarinetist and tenor saxophonist, based in Los Angeles. He was "probably the first great jazz flutist," according to jazz historian Leonard Feather.[1]


He was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and began his career in music at the age of 18 with the bands of Tommy Dorsey, Shep Fields, Boyd Raeburn and Don Redman. He also performed many times with his older brother, clarinetist Abe Most.

His first recording was at age 23, a single called "Undercurrent Blues". The next year he was awarded Down Beat magazine's "Critic's New Star Award". Between 1953 and 1958 Most led and recorded sessions for the Prestige, Debut, Vanguard and Bethlehem labels. He also did session work for Chris Connor, Paul Quinichette and Teddy Wilson. He was a member of the Buddy Rich band from 1959 to 1961.[2]

Most resurfaced in the late 1970s recording six albums on the Xanadu label.

One night, after playing at a Las Vegas night club, he was asked by Frank Sinatra to have breakfast with him at the singer's home. After a session, which included Sinatra singing as Most played the piano, Sinatra left the room and came back with a flute case. Most opened it and saw a beautiful, expensively hand carved flute. Sinatra told Most that he had used this flute to practice breath control with and then gave the flute to him as a gift saying, "I know you'd appreciate this Sam - it's yours." Most retained the gift to the end of his life.[citation needed][undue weight? ]

From 1987 Most, with producer Fernando Gelbard of, recorded four albums, including Solo Flute.

He was the guest of and played for the King of Thailand three times. He was the subject of Edmond Goff's documentary film Sam Most, Jazz Flutist (2001).[3]

Sam Most died on June 13, 2013 from cancer, at Woodland Hills, Los Angeles.[4] He was 82.[5]


As leader

  • Undercurrent Blues (1952)
  • Sam Most - Introducing a New Star (1952)
  • Bebop Revisited Vol. 3 (1954)
  • I'm Nuts About the Most...Sam, That Is! (Bethlehem, 1954)
  • The Herbie Mann-Sam Most Quintet (Bethlehem, 1955) with Herbie Mann
  • Sam Most Sextet 12 (1955)
  • Musically Yours (1956)
  • Doubles in Jazz (1957)
  • The Amazing Sam Most (1957)
  • Sam Most Plays Bird Bud Monk & Miles (1957)
  • Sam Most Quartet Plus Two (1958)
  • Jungle Fantasy/Plop Plop Boom (1970)
  • Mostly Flute (Xanadu, 1976)
  • Flute Flight (Xanadu, 1977)
  • But Beautiful (Catalyst, 1978)
  • Flute Talk with Joe Farrell (Xanadu, 1979)
  • From the Attic of My Mind (Xanadu, 1980)
  • Any Time Any Season (1987)
  • Simply Flute (2008)
  • Solo Flute (2009)
  • Organic Flute (2010)
  • A Time for Love – Most, Alcivar (2012)

As sideman

With Louis Bellson

With Clare Fischer

With Stan Kenton

  • Hair (Capitol, 1969)

With Paul Quinichette

With Lalo Schifrin


  1. ^ Woo, Elaine (2013-06-24). "Sam Most dies at 82; pioneering jazz flutist". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-06-16.
  2. ^ Bio by Scott Yanow
  3. ^ "Sam Most, Jazz Flutist (2001)". IMDb. 10 September 2001. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ "Jazz Flautist Sam Most (1930-2013): An Appreciation". Something Else!. Retrieved 15 January 2015.

External links

  • Sam Most on IMDb
  • Sam Most biography at
  • IMDB site for documentary on Sam Most
  • Sam Most at
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