Chico FREEMAN 1979

Chico Freeman, born Earl Lavon Freeman Jr in 1949, into a musical family, his father Von Freeman is the legendary tenor saxophone player, and his uncles George and Bruz play guitar and drums respectively. Freeman earned a mathematics scholarship to Northwestern University, and played trumpet in the school jazz band. He quickly learned that his heart was elsewhere, and eventually studied the tenor saxophone eight to ten hours a day until confident enough to challenge the sax section. He switched to a major in music and a great tenor player was born. He
graduated with a degree in music, with proficiencies in saxophone, trumpet, and piano.
Following studies in advanced composition and theory, he began teaching elementary and intermediate courses at the Chicago-based AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians) School of Music. While completing a Masters Degree in Composition and Theory at Governors State University, his memorable performance at the Intercollegiate Jazz Festival in South Bend, Indiana, with the Governors State's Jazz Band won Freeman awards as "Best Soloist", "Best Saxophonist", and a tour of Brazil with the winning group.
Although jazz was the first music Freeman was exposed to, many of his early professional gigs were at Chicago clubs with such blues artists as Memphis Slim, and Lucky Camichael. Freeman went on to play with pop and R & B greats The Temptations, The Four Tops, Jackie Wilson, The Dells, The Isley Brothers, and The Eurythmics.
After arriving in New York in the 70's, he immediately bean working with Jeanne Lee, Mickey Bass, John Stubblefield, and Cecil McBee. Through apprenticeships in New York and abroad with such innovators as Elvin Jones, Don Pullen, Sam Rivers, Sun Ra, and Jack DeJohnette, Freeman developed his own group and rapidly rose to prominence with his energetic and exploratory style.
A legendary concert at Lincoln Center in June 1982, by The Young Lions, a group critics hailed as the brightest hopes of jazz in the 1980's -Chico Freeman, Wynton Marsalis, Paquito Urivera, Kevin Eubanks, Anthony Davis, and others- produced an album on which Freeman plays nearly every cut. His 14-minute composition "Whatever Happened To the Dream Deferred" was one of the best of the album.
In 1986, when superstar bands were being organized by promoters in Europe, Freeman brought together The Leaders -an all-star sextet of internationally recognized bandleaders.
The group, consisting of Cecil McBee, Kirk Lightsey, Lester Bowie, Arthur Blythe, and Famadou Don Moye, set the standard for eclectic and innovative music from a band comprised entirely of composers.
In 1991, during the 150 year anniversary celebration of the invention of the saxophone by Adolphe Sax, the band Roots was formed.
This band consisted of internationally known saxophonists Nathan Davis, Benny Golson, Arthur Blythe, and Chico Freeman. Adding Buster Williams (bass), and Winard Harper (drums), this band is still touring the world, and delighting audiences with their unique arrangements, and brilliant improvisation.
With his Afro-Cuban Band Guataca, featuring Angela Hagenbach (special guest vocalist), Hilton Ruiz (piano), Romero (flamenco guitar, vocals), Avery Sharpe (bass), Mark Colenburg (drums), and Pibo Marquez (congas, djembe, percussion, vocals), Freeman continues to push the envelope of what is happening in music. This band features seasoned professionals and younger players in a wonderful mix of world music: Latin rhythms, African heritage, and hip hop energy incorporating traditional jazz sensibilities and instrumentation. It is music that makes you want to move, bridging the gaps between generations. It truly brings improvisational music to the forefront, and introduces it, yet again, to another age of listeners.

SPIRIT SENSITIVE

Chico FREEMAN ts, Cecil McBEE b, John HICKS p, Billy HART dr, (on 9 & 10) Don MOYE dr, (on 9) Jay HOGGARD vb,

Freeman was among the first of the avant-garde-leaning players who followed the "New Thing" wave of the '60s to fully embrace the need for tradition and structure. He was -and remains- fully capable of pushing the limits of his instrument, particularly on bass clarinet and tenor, but he's also a highly lyrical player and a superb interpreter of ballads. These qualities are strongly displayed in "Spirit Sensitive."
I have the original vinyl, which included six cuts, but I sprung for the CD reissue in order to get the four extra cuts, and it was worth it, particularly for two Coltrane originals -"Lonnie's Lament" and "Wise One"- Freeman performs.
The album was recorded in 1979 when Freeman was in his late 20s, so it's all the more surprising how gentle the sound on this release is, particularly if you are familiar with some of his fiery work from around this period with bassist Cecil McBee, who also appears here. From the opening "Autumn in New York" through "You Don't Have to Say You're Sorry," "It Never Entered My Mind," "Close to You Alone" and a superb reading of Horace Silver's "Peace," Freeman pushes at but does not break the boundaries of hard bop. "Autumn in New York", a duet with McBee is a highlight.
Although he is a restless spirit who occasionally records a date that doesn't quite connect, Freeman has continued to turn out fine work since this date. "Spirit Sensitive" is an important document of the development of a key modern jazz player.

To be continued...

2 comments:

GIBSON L5 ( RAZ ) said...

hey dear Daniel :-))
i see you have some new cd's here as the freemans and so on !!!
also i'm crazy bout baritone sax ....so please count me in for links .
thanks alot !
wish you well
{*_*} Raz

GIBSON L5 ( RAZ ) said...

hey dear Daniel :-))
i see you have some new cd's here as the freemans and so on !!!
also i'm crazy bout baritone sax ....so please count me in for links .
thanks alot !
wish you well
{*_*} Raz