Von Freeman Dead at 88

August 23, 2012

Renowned tenor saxophonist Von Freeman died in his hometown of Chicago last week at the age of 88. Freeman was revered by critics and musicians but was never able to become a jazz superstar, shunning fame for what he claimed was an artistic freedom unencumbered by finances or recognition.

Freeman was awarded a Jazz Master Fellowship this year from the National Endowment for the Arts and mentored countless musicians throughout his life, a testament to his mastery of both bebop and avant-garde approaches to jazz.

Freeman famously blew off a phone call from Miles Davis asking him to replace John Coltrane in his ‘50s ensemble.

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