Most was a staple of The Sacramento Jazz Camp between
its inception in 1985 through 2002. As the camp's
clarinet and sax instructor (along with Jim Buchman)
he influenced many players and touched many lives.
the classroom Abe was a challenging yet vibrant teaching
force. His ability to get the musical message across
was always there. He was eager to share an inspirational
word or offer a musical condolence. His students
always seem to demonstrate a little something special
that you could only attribute to his knack for bringing
the best out in people.
the bandstand Abe Most was a consummate performer,
a genuine entertainer and an absolutely amazing musician.
With a complete command of harmony and technique,
Abe could navigate any song in any key, at any tempo.
And even though every musician that played with him
was well aware of his ability, Abe made even novice
musicians feel comfortable and at ease. He balanced
his music between his spectacular flurries of flawless
skill and his carefree sense of humor. Abe was serious
about music but he never took himself too seriously.
the classes were done for the day, the nightly concert
finished, and the last notes of the jam sessions
had faded, Abe Most is remembered best as a great
friend and colleague. Always the life of the camp,
he would avail us with stories of music, the road,
and earlier days when Jazz was in its heyday.
loved hearing about all the greats he shared the
stage with. Tommy Dorsey, Les Brown, Peggy Lee, Mel
Torme´, and Tony Bennett were just a few of
the legends he played with, and yet the conversation
always seemed to turn to those moments in his life
where he arrived at an exceptional intersection of
music and art. He played under the baton of John
Williams for those little Spielberg films, Jerry
Goldsmith on the Fox lot and Bernard Hermman in some
of Hitchcock’s greatest works. He was on the
sessions for the lost Beach Boys “Smile” album
and countless others of which only the record files
at local 47 could attest.
our evenings drew to a close, the spirit of the faculty
gatherings would lighten and in an environment where
funny is the norm (and some truly hilarious people
teach here) Abe was king. The faculty looked so forward
to the one about the duck and the nails. He told
it every year and camp just wasn’t complete
with out it. How did that one go?
We learned from him, played with him, and laughed with
him. We are better musicians and people for having known
Abe, and we miss him more than mere words can express.