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Bud Freeman

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Lawrence “Bud” Freeman (April 13, 1906 – March 15, 1991) was an American jazz musician, bandleader, and composer, known mainly for playing the tenor saxophone, but also able at the clarinet. He had a smooth and full tenor sax style with a heavy robust swing. He was one of the most influential and important jazz tenor saxophonists of the Big Band era. His major recordings were “The Eel”, “Tillie’s Downtown Now”, “Crazeology”, “The Buzzard”, and “After Awhile”, composed with Benny Goodman.

One of the original members of the Austin High School Gang which began in 1922, Freeman played the C-melody saxophone alongside his other band members such as Jimmy McPartland and Frank Teschemacher before switching to tenor saxophone two years later. Influenced by artists like the New Orleans Rhythm Kings and Louis Armstrong from the South, they would begin to formulate their own style, becoming part of the emerging Chicago Style of jazz.
In 1927, he moved to New York, where he worked as a session musician and band member with Red Nichols, Roger Wolfe Kahn, Ben Pollack, Joe Venuti, among others. One of his most notable performances was a solo on Eddie Condon’s 1933 recording, The Eel, which then became Freeman’s nickname (for his long snake-like improvisations). Freeman played with Tommy Dorsey’s Orchestra (1936–1938) as well as for a short time Benny Goodman’s band in 1938 before forming his own band, the Summa Cum Laude Orchestra (1939–1940). Freeman joined the US Army during World War II, and headed a US Army band in the Aleutian Islands.

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  • Slim_rafa

    great

    1 Apr 7:50pm Reply
  • JoshCIVM

    There's a very good interview with him in Studs Terkel's book Working.

    24 Sep 2010 Reply
  • albertovilaorti

    Decía en el comentario que el talento de Bud Freeman fue oscurecido por la fama de otros saxos tenores, pero él tenía lo suficiente para que se lo conociera. Las grabaciones que más me gustan de él son las que hizo entre 1933 y 1939. Freeman nació en 1906 y murió en 1991. ¿Puedo pasar a otra cosa? Me dicen que me quedan dos temas para escuchar de manera gratuita. ¿de qué manera debo hacer el pago? No uso tarjetas de crédito, hay manera de hacerles llegar el dinero? Me gustaría que me lo explicaran. Gary Vila Ortiz. Rosario. Argentina. No tengo inconveniente alguno en mandárles mi dirección y el teléfono si es necesario. Dicho sea de paso, no utilizó celulares. Gracias

    2 Mar 2010 Reply
  • LondonLouis

    It's a shame "The Eel" isn't available. I remember that as a strong track showing Bud's sinuosity off.

    12 Dec 2008 Reply

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