Chico Freeman’s musical journey has been one akin to that of an alchemist, providing the Midas touch to not only his projects, but also helping to create gold for others within the jazz, rhythm & blues, pop and world music musical realms. It’s no surprise that Freeman’s latest project, Chico Freeman y Guataca Oh, By The Way..., is one of his most completely realized musical excursions. The critically acclaimed CD successfully blends all that the artist has experienced from his past, while providing fluidness into a future of infinite musical possibilities.
What Freeman and his seven-member ensemble, Guataca, have concocted is a fine blend of sound elements incorporating all music that has permeated through its leader’s imagination. “What I did with this with this album is utilize elements of jazz, r&b and hip-hop on an Afro-Cuban basis, with a flamenco and middle-eastern flavor,” Freeman says about “Oh, By The Way…” Emphasis was placed on rhythm and melody, with some focus on harmonics, Freeman says. “I remember Lester Bowie had a unique name for his style of music.