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Bud Shank

5.27.26 – 4.2.09

Bud Shank
Bud Shank

I was privileged to have known Bud Shank since the early ’70s. He was a real Renaissance man. I first met him in the Hollywood studios where we both spent a lot of time. He was a first-call flutist and saxophonist and worked constantly. When he left the studios he gave up the flute, choosing to concentrate solely on alto sax. I was disappointed. His flute sound and approach were totally unique and he had a real voice on the instrument. In the late ’70s, Claude Bolling was writing many “jazz suites”; Bud wasn’t a big fan of Bolling’s and said, “Let’s do one of our own.”

So he commissioned my Suite for Flute & Piano and played the hell out of it! Bud was also one of those rare studio musicians who, while doing much commercial work, kept the jazz side of his musical personality alive and active. He was a charter member of the L.A. Four, a member of the Lighthouse All-Stars, one of the early proponents of Brazilian music and led many fine ensembles. He wrote and recorded many lovely compositions and also scored two surfing movies!

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