Remembering Frank

You’ll find the obituaries here.

If you’d like to share memories, thoughts, or feelings about Frank please use the comment field below. Thanks!


Please read the Letter from Philippe Chagne here.


Ove Anderson

I´m very sad to hear of the passing of one of my heroes in the Count Basie Orchestra. His playing and foremost his brilliant and fluid flute solos are always a thrill to listen to and I´ve has spent many hours through the years listening to the superb music of the Count.
Just to think that all the fantastic musicians that formed “The Atomic Basie” orchestra is once again gathered together in a better place (hopefully) and I can almost hear Frank soloing on “Cute”! I surely would be the first in line to buy tickets for that concert… R.I.P. Frank and thank you for all wonderful music!
Nov 21st, 2013 at 11:24 am


Laurence Donohue-Greene

Thanks for your endless musicality and personality, Mr. Frank Wess. Your smile, personality, generosity and warmth evenly matched your outstanding creativity on tenor and flute. So many decades of original improvisations; it’s due to people like you I refer to jazz musicians as “magicians”!

We’ll miss you but will always go back to your timeless music and remember your contributions to the jazz world, which is a better place because of what you shared with us all.

Most sincerely,

Laurence Donohue-Greene
Managing Editor
The New York City Jazz Record
Nov 26th, 2013 at 4:37 pm


Bob Bernotas

Simply, so many of the most cherished musical moments of my life involve Frank Wess. Thank you, Frank, for that. And thank you for “Half Moon Street,” my radio theme song.

Bob Bernotas
host of “Just Jazz”
91.9 WNTI &
Nov 27th, 2013 at 10:47 pm


Roberto Gonzlez-Aponte
So sad to hear that one of my favorite flautists passed away so recently, he was definitely an inspiration for many people around the world. Thank you for the music that you were able to provide the world Mr. Wess. Thank you
Dec 23rd, 2013 at 9:28 am


esther blue

Dear Magic:
What a Gifted, funny man, and what a great gift you were to all of us lucky enough to listen, understand and love you..

Thank you for “making time” for me: I was 17 when you gave me the metronome I still use today (Sara said you’d spoken about it). You always will be my heartbeat.

You made such a joyful noise here, Frank. The Heavenly Jam session wasn’t even a party till you arrived- so don’t forget to save me a seat-I’ll come sit in when I get there…
Remember your sweet little latin tune ”Nada Mas”? Maybe we could play that but then we could rename it “Siempre Mas”

Love You, Miss you , Hasta Luego

Jan 3rd, 2014 at 9:18 pm


Steve Wilson

One of the all-time greats and true royalty. What an honor and privilege to have known and played with Mr. Wess.
Jan 4th, 2014 at 10:04 pm


Laura C. Cutler

I’m so sad to find out this great artist (and a man obviously greatly loved by those who knew him) has gone from our midst. Though I never got to hear him play live, I realized today that I’d enjoyed his music long before I knew who he was, because of his work on SNL and Dick Cavett’s shows. Only in the last couple of years did I discover some recordings of Frank Wess, and seek out more from and about him. He certainly has left a beautiful, soulful imprint on the world, so I celebrate his life and wish all his family, friends and colleagues peace, and joyful jazz.

Feb 21st, 2014 at 7:37 am


Jeff Putterman

How can anyone with ears not miss the wonderful Frank Wess? My favorite story about him: One summer at the Charlie Parker Fest up in Marcus Garvey Park, the Hank Jones trio headlined the day. Hank invited two tenor players to join him: Frank and Jimmy Heath. They played Lester Leaps In, trading solos ala the old “battles” in the Basie band. While I’m a good friend of Jimmy’s, Frank clearly blew him off the stage. After the set, I went backstage and told Jimmy: “Don’t take the wrong way, but Frank kicked your ass out there.” Without missing a beat, Jimmy replied: “We don’t call him Magic for nothing!”
Oct 3rd, 2014 at 6:12 pm


Iris Lloyd

I had been thinking about Mr. Wess for about a year (2012-2013), but had no way of contacting him. In the mid 80’s, Mr. Wess took me under his wing for about six months of tutoring on the flute. A patient man and very serious about his gift. I only regret that I did not listen to my spirit and not those of family members to continue studying with Mr. Wess. I was not aware of the GIANT he was, and missed a great opportunity, and wanted to send him a recording for him to hear how much I had advanced. However, it was an honor to have known him for the brief period of time. I still remember him saying to me, “You’re either going to study music, or go to college.” Thank God for giving us Mr. Wess.