Stan Free

Stan Free

Stanley Free (12 April 1922-17 August 1995) was a New York City-based jazz musician, composer, conductor and arranger.

Free was born in Brooklyn in 1922, and received a classical musical education, studying with Alexander Siloti and also at the Juilliard School. While still in his teens, he organized a combo (Stanley Friedland's Royal New Yorkers) that played the Catskills. He served as a staff sergeant in the Seventh Cavalry in World War II, seeing combat in the Pacific.

Upon his return, he became active in many musical endeavors, including serving as musical director for one of the first live television variety/talk shows -- "Cafe De Paris" with Sylvie St. Clair, on WABD, the old Dumont channel in New York. The Stan Free Trio played in many of the intimate jazz spots that dotted New York in those days -- The Composer, The Embers, The Living Room, and Hickory House to name a few. He was the featured performer for several summers at Herb McCarthy's Bowden Square in Southampton, Long Island. He recorded several albums (now out of print) under his own name: "Free For All: The Stan Free Trio," "Piano A La Percussion" and "Stan Free Five: Would You Believe? Jazz Alive."

Free's best-known recording is not under his own name -- it is the Moog hit, "Popcorn", with the artist listed as Hot Butter, which was Free and five studio musicians. Stan toured and recorded with the First Moog Quartet, organized by Gershon Kingsley. He also arranged and conducted for many performers, notably the jazz vocalist Chris Connor (ChrisCraft), and the comedian Jack Carter. He was also a studio musician for many of the rock and pop groups of the 60's, including The Monkees and The Association. In 1979 Stan played percussion on the Broadway Show The Most Happy Fella. Stan was a multi-talented musician, a charming raconteur, and a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He died in New York in August, 1995.

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