Monday, September 14, 2009

"F" is for FREEMAN - Chico Freeman

I have to thank, Jacques Emond, for turning me on to the music of Chico Freeman way back in the early eighties (Jacques is also the guy who gave me my start in radio, too). At that point I wasn't familiar with the name Chico Freeman at all. That would soon change.

I began buying up every record by Freeman I could get my hands on. This infatuation with his music continued well into the nineties. It included his work with the two "super groups": Roots and the Leaders as well as several projects with other musicians, most notably Don Pullen and Arthur Blythe. He's the son of Chicago tenor legend (and outrageously under recognized outside his home town) Von Freeman. Chico became a member of the AACM but later moved to NYC. He's recorded outstanding records for India Navigation, Blackhawk, Contemporary, Black Saint, In & Out, and Ronnie Scott's Jazz House.

What I love about Chico Freeman's music is his reference to tradition without looking to repeat or recreate earlier times. Chico plays tenor sax (he breathes the instrument as oppsed to blowing it), the soprano sax, the bass clarinet and the flute. We'll hear him predominantly on but there are examples of his ability on all four instruments among the selections offered up here.
The albums from which these selections are drawn are:

The playlist goes like this:

1. Footprints (16:40) - Luminous
2. The Search (7:00) - The Outside Within
3. The Pied Piper (6:50) - The Pied Piper
4. Two Over One (7:40) - Beyond the Rain
5. Embracing Oneness (7:00) - Destiny's Dance
6. Moments: Pts. 1-3 (24:08) - Chico
7. Lonnie's Lament (7:23) - Spirit Sensitive
8. Avotja (14:10) - Luminous



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