Monday: celebrating Von Freeman | Bleader

Monday: celebrating Von Freeman


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Von Freeman
  • Von Freeman
Throughout the Chicago Jazz Festival over Labor Day weekend, performers made myriad dedications to the great Chicago saxophonist Von Freeman, who died on August 11 at age 88. A couple were hastily organized additions to the program, but most were spontaneous, including a short performance on Friday, August 30, by Von's son Chico, who was accompanied by his father's longtime working band from the New Apartment Lounge. On Monday, September 17, the Jazz Showcase hosts a more formal, evening-long homage to the saxophonist.

Freeman's veteran cohorts—drummer Michael Raynor, guitarist Mike Allemana, and bassist Matt Ferguson—will be joined by pianist Willie Pickens for two sets beginning at 8 PM. The concert will feature "Von's View of the Blues," a medley of Freeman originals arranged by Allemana when the saxophonist was honored last summer at Pritzker Pavilion as part of the Made in Chicago: World Class Jazz series (Freeman's poor health prevented him from participating). An impressive array of guest soloists will join in as well, including guitarist George Freeman (Von's brother), trumpeter Art Hoyle, saxophonists Ari Brown and Christopher McBride, and tuba player Dan Anderson. Other players will almost certainly stop by too, instruments in hand. All proceeds from the door will go to the Freeman family.

Below you can check out a recently unearthed video of Von performing at the Chicago Jazz Festival in 1988 with fellow Chicago tenor saxophonist Clifford Jordan.

Today's playlist:

Kris Davis, Aeriol Piano (Clean Feed)
Lijadu Sisters, Danger (Knitting Factory)
Implodes, Black Earth (Kranky)
David Murray Cuban Ensemble, Plays Nat King Cole en Español (Motema)
Tonight at Noon, To Mingus, With Love (Prophone)

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