Bud Freeman


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How pleasant to know Bud Freeman. His warm tone on the tenor sax (and occasionally the clarinet) could best be described as "friendly." Here are all of the sides he recorded for the Keynote label in 1946, presented chronologically, as if the listener were sitting in the studio watching the sessions unfold. For this material to make it onto compact disc is a cause for celebration. "Town Hall Blues" refers to Eddie Condon's famous Town Hall Jazz Concerts, where all of these musicians appeared in every sort of instrumental combination, as Condon loved to constantly rearrange the lineups of his jam session groups. This served to create and maintain an almost Brecht-like "work in progress" atmosphere. The common root language of those public performances was always a blues played in the style of a traditional jazz ensemble. What's presented here on the first track is standard-issue, collectively improvised blues, exactly the way they did it at Town Hall. All that's missing is Eddie Condon's narration, which sounded a lot like gangster banter from a Jimmy Cagney movie. Peanuts Hucko radiates positive energy during "Honeysuckle Rose." Freeman and Joe Sullivan illuminate "Room with a View" most graciously. "You Took Advantage of Me" gets the hot treatment -- this was one of Freeman's favorite jam tunes. There are a couple of very pleasant love songs, then a fine visit to "The Blue Room" with clarinetist Edmond Hall. Now the mood changes along with the personnel. In addition to Hall, formidable percussionist Davey Tough and a very spunky Charlie Shavers glide easily through the relatively modern chord progressions of "Inside at the Southside." "I've Found a New Baby" leads a charge back into fundamentally traditional modes. "Blues for Peanuts" is almost like something from Lester Young. "Taking a Chance on Love" really bubbles up as Freeman's tenor is snugly backed by Bill Dohler's alto sax. There are very few extant recordings of pianist Tut Soper. Rejoice then in his presence on "The Man I Love." At the bottom of this mixed bag are two rather overbearing vocals by Marilyn Ross, most interesting for Freeman's clarinet accompaniment, and a silly song (urging everyone not to put bananas in the refrigerator) sung by the DeMarco Sisters (very close imitators of the Andrews Sisters). The real jazz on this disc is so excellent that only a spoilsport would object to the inclusion of these odds and ends.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:15
2 2:53
3 2:51
4 3:18
5 2:55
6 2:57
7 2:58
8 3:00
9 2:45
10 2:57
11 2:46
12 2:55
13 3:10
14 2:28
15 3:02
feat: Freeman Five
feat: Freeman Five
feat: Freeman Five
feat: Freeman Four
feat: Freeman Four
feat: Marilyn Ross
feat: Marilyn Ross
25 2:46
blue highlight denotes track pick