Von Freeman recorded too infrequently for an artist of his stature, but his slender discography nonetheless sheds light on one of the most influential jazz men Chicago has produced:
“Doin' It Right Now” (Atlantic, 1972). Freeman's belated debut as leader was produced by Rahsaan Roland Kirk and captures the piquant quality of his tenor work.
“Have No Fear” (Nessa, 1975). Chuck Nessa, a visionary producer of Chicago artists, documents Freeman in a bluesy mood.
“Serenade and Blues” (Nessa, 1975). The saxophonist offers expansive balladry and original tunes.
“Fathers and Sons” (Columbia, 1982). Freeman enjoys a rare moment on a national record label, in a recording that features the Freeman and Marsalis families.
“Walkin' Tuff” (Southport, 1989). Freeman partners with Chicago sidemen on mostly jazz standards.
“Von & Ed” (Delmark, 1999). Former Chicago tenor man Ed Petersen faces off with Freeman, the two revisiting their tenor “battles” at the Green Mill.
“You Talkin' To Me?!” (Delmark, 2000). Chicago tenor phenom Frank Catalano duets with his mentor.
“The Improvisor” (Premonition, 2002). One of the best recordings of 2002, “The Improviser” captures the mercurial brilliance of Freeman's solos.
“The Great Divide” (Premonition, 2004). Romantic balladry and 21st century experimentation converge.
“Vonski Speaks” (Nessa, 2009). Recorded at the Berlin Jazz Festival in 2002, “Vonski Speaks” attests to the high standards of his late-in-life work.Copyright © 2015, RedEye