Von Freeman was a major force on the Chicago jazz scene for over 70 years and is responsible for mentoring a number of musicians that went on to achieve notoriety on an international level.
There are legendary musicians in every corner of the United States that choose to stay in their hometown for the sake of their families. These legends are responsible for holding a high standard in their regional music scene and become known for mentoring young players. Chicago native Von Freeman is one such musician. Even though he started playing professionally at the age of 12, he didn't record his first album until he was 50 years old. Even though people like Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie would come through town and encourage Freeman to go on the road, the saxophonist would decline for the sake of his family. It wasn't until later in Freeman's life that he began to be recognized and receive his own accolades. "Vonski", as musicians knew him, received the National Endowment for the Art Jazz Masters Award in 2012 and is the father of saxophonist Chico Freeman.
Music In This Episode
1. I Love You (Cole Porter) from Von Freeman Lester Leaps In
2. Doin' It Right Now (Von Freeman) from Von Freeman Doin' It Right Now
3. Summertime (George Gershwin) from Von Freeman and Willis "Gator" Jackson Lockin' Horns
4. Undercurrent (Cecil McBee) from Von Freeman and Chico Freeman Freeman and Freeman
5. The Rent Party (Kurt Elling and Ed Peterson) from Kurt Elling Live in Chicago