The AACM New York City Chapter Inc. has presented the music of its membership for the past 58 years, and is very excited to present AACM New York City member Chico Freeman and his Quintet at Roulette. Heralded as one of the most important saxophonists of our time Chico Freeman has perfected an immediately recognizable approach to music and composition. Chico is part of the Freeman family legacy in Chicago; his father, was legendary NEA Jazz Master saxophonist Von Freeman; his uncles, guitarist George Freeman; and drummer Bruz Freeman. Throughout his career Chico has amassed a diverse résumé of performing everything from R&B to blues / hard bop to avant-garde.
For this concert, Freeman revisits his acclaimed Legacy Project, originally a family celebration featuring an extended suite for 19-piece orchestra now reshaped for a smaller but no-less-special cast of musicians who’ve played with one, or more, of the Freemans in various settings. The band will also perform new works by Freeman and works by some of his peers.
The quintet features Adegoke Steve Colson on piano and alto sax. Colson and Freeman have a long storied history of working together. They co-founded the group ‘Life and Death Situation’ when they attended Northwestern University together; both joined the AACM after working extensively with Fred Anderson, and drummer Ronnie Burrage; Colson also worked with Freeman in McCoy Tyner‘s band and toured Europe in many of Chico’s other groups, as well as groups led by Burrage. St.Louis born drummer, percussionist, keyboardist, composer, arranger, band leader and music educator Ronnie Burrage has played with the Freeman family many times. Noted bassist Mark Helias, played with Freeman throughout the 1980’s – a fertile creative time for both of them. Rounding out the band and representing the younger generation, is vibraphonist Thaddeus Tukes who was presented as the “World’s best vibraphonist” at the World Expo 2020 in Dubai. Tukes has worked with Freeman in Chicago at the Jazz Showcase and the Chicago Jazz Festival.
Not to be lost in all of this is the greatness of Chico as a tenor saxophonist, composer and bandleader. His time abroad may have changed his profile in the states but as his return visits have demonstrated, the apple does not fall far from the tree – whatever branch you have in mind.
Chico Freeman Quintet
Chico Freeman Tenor Sax, Bass Clarinet
Adegoke Steve Colson Piano, Alto Sax
Thaddeus Tukes Vibraphone, Piano
Mark Helias Acoustic Bass
Ronnie Burrage Drums
This performance is a coproduction between Roulette and AACM New York City Chapter Concert 2023