It’s another fusion album next time on the Vinyl Vault. Except this time, it’s a fusion of jazz and classical music. “Soaring” is the second album by the band Free Flight. Released in 1983 on Palo Alto Jazz Records, the album continues the high level of playing and composition from the band’s debut album three years previously.

Vinyl Vault is sponsored by Vinyl Me, Please

Free Flight was led by flutist Jim Walker who was also, at the time, the principal flute in the Los Angeles Philharmonic. After years in the classical arena, Walker sought out keyboard man Milcho Leviev to help him experiment with adding jazz to his repertoire. Leviev had been playing jazz for some time but also had a classical background which he acquired while still living in his native Bulgaria. While still living in that country, he earned a spot with the Sophia Philharmonic as conductor/pianist. After coming to the United States, Leviev focused on jazz and it was during that time that Walker approached him and suggested a collaboration that would combine classical and jazz elements.

The debut album met with high acclaim and sufficient success to warrant a follow-up. “Soaring” features primarily compositions by Walker and Leviev, but also pieces inspired by classical composers such as J.S. Bach and Rodrigo.

The quartet was rounded out by Jim Lancefield on bass and Ralph Humphrey on drums and percussion. The rhythm section was highly in tune with the flute and keyboards and provided the jazz base with the classical touch to complete the vision of the composers.

Join host Geoff Anderson for Free Flight, on Tuesday, April 4 at 8:30 pm on the Vinyl Vault on KUVO JAZZ.

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