Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

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FREEMAN, Bud

(b Lawrence Freeman, 13 April '06, Chicago; d 15 March '91) Tenor sax in Chicago style, associated with Austin High Gang (see Jazz). Played in Europe as early as '28: a witty improviser with a light, creamy tone and distinctive swinging ideas, the first great white player on the instrument and the only original tenor voice apart from Coleman Hawkins until Lester Young. (Both Freeman and Young were probably infl. by Frankie Trumbauer.) Played with dance/jazz bands Roger Wolfe Kahn, Ben Pollack, Paul Whiteman, Zez Confrey, Red Nichols, Joe Haymes etc; with Ray Noble '35, Tommy Dorsey, then Benny Goodman '36--9. Records under own name late '28 Chicago with Red McKenzie, Gene Krupa and six others; Windy City Five '35 NYC with Bunny Berigan, Claude Thornhill, Eddie Condon, Grachan Moncur and Cozy Cole; with trio and octet on Commodore '38; own small group Summa Cum Laude Orchestra '39-- 40 on several labels, notably Bluebird (Victor) July '39, with Condon, Pee Wee Russell, Max Kaminsky, four others: 'China Boy', 'Easy To Get', 'I've Found A New Baby' and 'The Eel' (latter tour de force also cut '33 under Condon's name) were all found on anthology String Of Swingin' Pearls on RCA '60s, reissued on CD in Germany. Bud Freeman and his Chicagoans session '40 with Jack Teagarden has been reissued many times as a classic of Chicago style. Played in US Army '43--5, since then freelance, often with trio (Dot LP as Summa Cum Laude Trio); many jazz festivals. Published You Don't Look Like A Musician. Founder member of World's Greatest Jazz Band (see Yank Lawson); lived in London for a while '70s. (Always an Anglophile, Freeman recorded 'Private Jives' for Commodore '38, comedy complete with phoney English accents suggested by NoČl Coward but also sounding like a sendup of a radio soap opera of the period, announcer Everett Sloane and radio comedienne Minerva Pious taking part.) Own LPs on Monmouth-Evergreen c'70 incl. The Compleat Bud Freeman (with delightful tune 'Mr Toad'), Music Of Hoagy Carmichael, another with Lee Wiley; on Chiaroscuro: The Joy Of Sax '74 with Jess Stacy; Last Night When We Were Young c'62 on Black Lion; with Jimmy McPartland on Circle, Teagarden on Verve etc. Superbud with the Keith Ingham Trio and octet California Session with Dick Cathcart and Nick Fatool are both on Jazzology. The Real Bud Freeman '84 on Principally Jazz was a quintet set with a mixture of standards and witty Freeman originals, but the drumming of Barrett Deems was pretty hard to take. Bud quit playing because of failing eyesight, published autobiography Crazeology '89, title from a '28 record.