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Med Flory

Med Flory has enjoyed both a profitable music career and successful stints as a television and film writer and actor. His alto sax and clarinet work are deeply influenced by the classic bebop sound, notably the playing of Charlie Parker. Though he doesn't directly emulate Parker, Flory's sound, phrasing and approach reflect his reverence for his music.

He played clarinet and alto with Claude Thornhill in the '50s, and tenor with Woody Herman. Flory formed his own New York band in 1954, then moved to the West Coast two years later. He organized a big band that performed at the inaugural Monterey concert in 1958. Flory played with Terry Gibbs' nonet and orchestra in the late '50s and early '60s, recording with both units and also cutting sessions with Art Pepper and Herman on baritone.

Flory's acting career blossomed in the '60s, as he began appearing on many television shows and in films. He also wrote screenplays and trimmed his playing dates. During Flory's sessions with Pepper, the sax section played arrangements of Parker improvisations. Flory and Joe Maini began transcribing the solos, but after Maini's death in 1964 Flory stopped the process.

When Buddy Clark showed interest, Flory not only began transcribing again, he co-formed a band with Clark to play the material. Supersax was made up of 5 saxophonists, and 4 other band members. Their debut album, 'Supersax Plays Bird' won a Grammy in 1973 for the best jazz performance by a group. Lightening almost struck twice in 1975 when they were nominated for a second Grammy for 'Supersax Plays Bird With Strings', but they were beat out by Chick Corea. In all, Supersax recorded 10 albums. Though Buddy Clark left in 1975, and there were numerous other changes through the years, Med remained the driving force behind the group.

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