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Free Flight

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Founded originally by the masterful classical flutist Jim Walker and the very versatile keyboardist Milcho Leviev (who after some internal dissension was replaced in 1984 by Mike Garson), Free Flight on recordings for Arabesque, Palo Alto, and CBS has successfully fused together classical passages, straight-ahead jazz, and fusion, sometimes switching between all three idioms in the same chorus. Walker's long and complex unison choruses with Garson are a highlight of the latter-day group; neither virtuoso seems to ever make a mistake. Bassist Jim Lacefield and drummer Peter Erskine were also founding members of the group. Ralph Humphrey took Erskine's spot by 1982 and, with the death of Lacefield, the bass and drum chairs are filled with a variety of flexible players. Free Flight (now a collaboration between Walker and Garson) has continued on a part-time basis into the mid-'90s. ~ Scott Yanow

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Years Active:

'80s, '90s