Von Freeman

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Von Freeman
By Jimmy Katz
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Von Freeman
By Michael Freeman
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Von Freeman
By Jack Vartoogian

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One of the great veterans of jazz, Von Freeman at 85 remains a vital and very individual tenor-saxophonist. Born in 1922, he was the son of a mother who played guitar and a father who loved ragtime piano. Von’s two brothers became jazz musicians with George Freeman being a guitarist and Bruz Freeman playing drums. When he was seven, Von Freeman began playing clarinet, soon switching to C-melody saxophone before settling on the tenor. After studying music at Chicago’s DuSable High School under the legendary Captain Walter Dyett, he worked with Horace Henderson’s big band during 1940-41. While serving in the military during World War II, Freeman performed often with a Navy big band. After his discharge, he was part of the house band at Chicago’s Pershing Ballroom during 1946-50, having opportunities to work with visiting musicians including Charlie Parker. Because he chose to stay in Chicago and hardly recorded at all in his early days (though he appeared on records by Andrew Hill and Jimmy Witherspoon), it took many years before Freeman became known outside of the city. His style became increasingly freer through the decades as he developed his own distinctive sound. A 1972 album sponsored and produced by Rahsaan Roland Kirk was one of Freeman’s first recordings to be noticed. His son Chico Freeman gained fame in the 1980s, which helped Von Freeman get documented more often. In the 1990s he recorded for Steeplechase and Southport, and finally Von Freeman became more than an underground legend. He is now known as a senior statesman of jazz, an individual innovator and a symbol of Chicago jazz.

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Articles on Von Freeman

03/22/13    Farewells    By Chico Freeman

Chico Freeman Remembers Von Freeman

08/13/12    News    By Jeff Tamarkin

NEA Jazz Master Von Freeman Dies at 88

01/12/12    News    By David R. Adler

NEA Jazz Masters Concert 2012

12/12/11    News    By Jeff Tamarkin

After Party for Von Freeman at NYC’s Iridium

10/29/11    News    By Jeff Tamarkin

Free Tickets for NEA Jazz Masters Awards & Concert

07/09/11    News    By Jeff Tamarkin

Tribute to Von Freeman Coming to Chicago July 28

06/24/11    News    By Jeff Tamarkin

2012 NEA Jazz Masters Recipients Announced

12/30/09    News    By Lee Mergner

New Year’s Eve Celebrated at Jazz Clubs Across the Country

March 2008    The Archivist    By Scott Yanow

The Best Of Von Freeman On Premonition
Von Freeman

November 2006    Albums    By David Whiteis

Good Forever
Von Freeman

November 2006    Albums    By David Whiteis

Good Forever
Von Freeman

January/February 2005    Critics Picks    By JazzTimes

The Year '04 in Review: Top 50 CDs

November 2004    Albums    By Thomas Conrad

The Great Divide
Von Freeman

November 2004    Albums    By Thomas Conrad

The Great Divide
Von Freeman

October 2003    Albums    By Doug Ramsey

Inside Chicago, Volume 3
Brad Goode/Von Freeman

December 2002    Albums    By John Litweiler

The Improvisor
Von Freeman

March 2002    Albums    By Duck Baker

Inside Chicago Volume 1
Brad Goode/Von Freeman

September 2001    Albums    By Bill Bennett

Live at the Dakota
Von Freeman

July/August 2001    News    By Michael J. Renner

Swinging for the Fences

January/February 2001    Overdue Ovation    By Harvey Pekar

Von Freeman

October 1999    Albums    By Amiri Baraka

Von & Ed
Von Freeman/Ed Petersen

October 1999    Albums    By Amiri Baraka

Von & Ed
Von Freeman/Ed Petersen

June 1997    Albums    By Eugene Holley

Fire With Von Freeman
Von Freeman

Albums

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Fire With Von Freeman

Southport
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Von & Ed

Delmark Records

You Talkin' To Me?!

Delmark Records
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Live at the Dakota

Premonition
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The Improvisor

Premonition
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The Great Divide

Premonition
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Good Forever

Premonition
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Inside Chicago Volume 1

SteepleChase
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Inside Chicago Volume 2

SteepleChase
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The Best Of Von Freeman On Premonition

Premonition
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Inside Chicago, Volume 3

SteepleChase
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