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Von Freeman Von Freeman

Von Freeman is an NEA Jazz Master

Earl Lavon Freeman jazz tenor saxophonist, originally became known for his work with the Horace Henderson Group during the Late 1940s, and Sun Ra's band in the early '50s. During that period, he also played with his musical brothers, drummer Bruz (Eldrige) Freeman and guitarist George Freeman, (with pianists including Ahmad Jamal, Andrew Hill, and Muhal Richard Abrams). Chicago Tribune critic Howard Reich says, “...For technical brilliance, musical intellect, harmonic sophistication and improvisatory freedom, Von Freeman has few bebop-era peers.”

The Chicago Reader's Monica Kendrick adds “He changes everything he touches, mostly for the better, with his swaggering tenor tenderness.”

Along with his contemporaries Gene Ammons, Johnny Griffin, and Clifford — the founder of the “Chicago School” of tenor players which adapted the work of Lester Young and Ben Webster, and influenced a number of players including Johnny Griffin & Clifford Jordan. To round out the musical family, the saxophonist's son Chico Freeman is also a well-known jazzman.

In the early 1960s, Freeman toured with Milt Trenier and, despite reasonably regular appearances in New York and Europe, the 75-year-old Freeman has remained to this day in Chicago, where you can see him almost weekly at clubs like Andy's, and has been the host of legendary jam sessions, like his Tuesday events at the New Apartment Lounge. You can catch him with the likes of John Young, Jodie Christian, Mike Raynor, Bettye Reynolds, Kurt Elling, and the rest of his musical family. His 75th birthday was celebrated with a headlining slot at the 1997 Chicago Jazz Festival. He joined one of the city's youngest tenor stars, Frank Catalano, in an afternoon set at the 1999 Fest.

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Albums

Album Von Freeman: Vonski Speaks by Von Freeman

Von Freeman: Vonski...

Unknown label
2010

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Album Young And Foolish by Von Freeman

Young And Foolish

Challenge Records
2007

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Album The Great Divide by Von Freeman

The Great Divide

Premonition Records
2004

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Inside Chicago, Vol. 4

Premonition Records
2003

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Album The Improvisor by Von Freeman

The Improvisor

Premonition Records
2002

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Live At The Dakota

Premonition Records
2001

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