Chico Freeman

The Emissary

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Chico Freeman showed a great deal of potential in the 1970s when the young tenor saxophonist recorded frequently. His profile has been a lot lower since that era, but he is still quite capable of playing rewarding music as he shows on this project, The Emissary, from 1995. Teamed with a group of San Francisco Bay-area musicians who form the Josh Jones Latin Jazz Ensemble, Freeman plays quite well on tenor, soprano, and bass clarinet. The music ranges from Latin jazz to world music, with a touch of reggae and pop, and a relatively straight-ahead "Seven Steps to Heaven." Since the Josh Jones group is essentially a rhythm section, Freeman is the main voice throughout and he comes up with plenty of creative ideas throughout this fairly accessible set.

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