Bud Freeman

California Session

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

By the time of this previously unreleased 1982 concert (put out on CD in 1997), tenor saxophonist Bud Freeman was 75 and had been playing at a major-league level for over 55 years, but there was nothing tired about his timeless style. Freeman, who happened to be in Los Angeles, was invited to a concert put on by the Poor Angel Hot Jazz Society and agreed to appear on a few numbers. However, he was so impressed by the band that during the first song he quickly put his horn together and played throughout the entire performance. Freeman was joined by trumpeter Dick Cathcart, trombonist Betty O'Hara (doubling on double-belled euphonium), clarinetist Bob Reitmeier, the great swing pianist Ray Sherman, guitarist Howard Alden (just 23 at the time), bassist Phil Stephens, and drummer Nick Fatool. The repertoire on this CD consists of eight familiar standards, but the interpretations are full of inspiration and joy. On some tunes, Alden, already a masterful player, weaves lines around Freeman, and there are a few individual features for the tenorman (most notably a rollicking "Tea for Two" and a double-time rendition of "Body and Soul"). The group numbers are all enjoyable and full of high spirits, particularly "Struttin' With Some Barbecue" and "Just a Closer Walk With Thee." Highly recommended to Dixieland and straight-ahead fans.

blue highlight denotes track pick