CD reissue of Earl Lavon "Von" Freeman's Nessa LP with pianist John Young, bassist David Shipp and drummer Wilbur Campbell, a great straight-ahead Chicago session mixing standards and original compositions.
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Catalog ID: 6
Squidco Product Code: 15303
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Recorded on June 11th, 1975 at Sound Studios, Chicago by Stu Black. Originally released in 1975 on LP on the Nessa Label as Catalog # 6.
Von Freeman-tenor saxophone
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1. Mr.Lucky 11:53
2. Swinging the Blues 9:57
3. Polka Dots and Moonbeams 11:37
4. Hane No Fear, Soul is Here 12:34
5. Boomerang 6:00
Chicago Jazz & Improvisation
sample the album:
"Earl Lavon Freeman, recipient of the NEA Jazz Master award for 2012, recorded this music during a marathon session in 1975. That amazing session also yielded the date called "Serenade & Blues". Von told historian Terry Martin 'Now the thing we did with Chuck to me was a miracle because he just let me do it my way and I have never been in the studio and seen a man so relaxed...and I'm generally a very relaxed man. I must have been the most nervous man in there.' This reissue adds Boomerang, a Freeman composition, to the original LP release."-Nessa Records
"Not nearly so famous as his son Chico Freeman (also a tenor saxophonist), Von Freeman is nevertheless equally -- if not more -- accomplished as a jazz musician. Von Freeman, while not per se a free jazz player, does exhibit traits commonly associated with the avant-garde: a roughly-hewn, vocalic tone; a flexible, somewhat imprecise approach to rhythm; and a fanciful harmonic concept. The son of a ragtime-loving policeman and guitar-playing housewife, Freeman himself began playing music around the age of two, beginning on the family piano. He was surrounded by music from a young age; his maternal grandfather and uncle were guitarists, and his brothers George and Bruz also became jazz musicians (on guitar and drums, respectively). At the age of seven, Freeman made a primitive saxophone by removing the horn from his parents' Victrola and boring holes in it. Shortly thereafter he began playing clarinet, then C-melody saxophone. Louis Armstrong was an early influence.
Freeman attended Chicago's DuSable High School, where his band director was the famed educator Captain Walter Dyett. He also learned harmony from the school's chorus director, Mrs. Bryant Jones. Freeman worked for about a year with Horace Henderson's Orchestra (l940-1941). He played in a Navy band while in the military (1941-1945). Following that, he played in the house band at Chicago's Pershing Ballroom (1946-1950), and for a time with Sun Ra (1948-1949). While at the Pershing, he played with many of the top jazz musicians who passed through town, including Charlie Parker. Freeman developed an underground reputation among Chicago-area musicians, and purportedly influenced members of the city's Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). Freeman seldom left Chicago and recorded infrequently, therefore never achieving a great measure of fame.
Freeman recorded with Milt Trenier for Cadet in the mid-'60s; Rahsaan Roland Kirk produced a Freeman session for Atlantic in 1972. In the late '70s (as his son Chico became well-known) Von was discovered by a somewhat-wider audience. In 1982, Chico and Von shared a Columbia LP with pianist Ellis Marsalis and his sons Wynton and Branford (Fathers & Sons). In the '90s Freeman recorded for the Steeplechase and Southport labels. Freeman is one of the great individualists of the tenor saxophone, and remained creatively vital through the end of the millennium."-Chris Kelsey, All Music
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