Enormous Moments-Bruce Freedman Trio
Bruce Freedman: Alto and soprano saxophonist and composer. Bruce Freedman has been playing as part of the creative jazz scene in Vancouver,British Columbia, since 1973. He is one of the strongest improvisers on the Vancouver scene. Influenced by John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Jimmy Lyons, and that era, his music is always intense, fresh, and from the heart. He has performed in Europe, the USA and in festivals across Canada including annual engagements at the DuMaurier Jazz Festival, in a variety of situations. As well as working as leader of his own groups, 'Chief Feature' and 'The Bruce Freedman Quartet', collaborations have included performances and recordings with Claude Ranger, Paul Plimley, Francouis Houle, Hugh Fraser, and a series of projects as a long term member with the 'New Orchestra Workshop Orchestra' with George Lewis, Barry Guy, Rene Lussier, Butch Morris, Wadada Leo Smith, and others. In September 2000 as a member of the NOW Orchestra, with special guest artist - the legendary trombonist/composer George Lewis embarked on a well-recieved five-city Canadian tour to Guelph, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Vancouver. In 2002 the same unit will play in festivals in Chicago, Amsterdam and Berlin. He is also currently writing for and performing with his new trio, The Bruce Freedman Trio featuring Clyde Reed on bass and Dylan Van Der Schyff (or Stan Taylor) on drums. EDUCATION Private study in Los Angeles with Sidney F. Myers; private study with Don Raffel (first call studio musician in L.A.); studied theory at Los Angeles Valley College; intensive study/practice with Lincoln Goines, workshops with Sam Rivers, Dave Holland, Lee Konitz and Warne Marsh, George Lewis, Barry Guy, Stan Karp and others in Vancouver. PRINCIPAL ENSEMBLES: -Bruce Freedman Trio-1998-present BF, alto and soprano sax, Clyde Reed, bass, Dylan van der Schyff, drums (or Stan Taylor, drums). -Bruce Freedman Quartet-1993-BF, soprano sax, Dylan van der Schyff, drums, André Lachance, bass, Dan Graham, piano. -New Orchestra Workshop Orchestra-1992- including Rene Lussier, Barry Guy,George Lewis, Leo Smith and others. -Paul Plimley Quartet-1991-93 -Vancouver Art Trio: 1985-1987 (Gregg Simpson, drums, Clyde Reed, bass. -Chief Feature: 1981-1990 (81-86 with Hugh Fraser, trombone, Claude Ranger, drums) RECORDINGS: -ENORMOUS MOMENTS (2001) The BRUCE FREEDMAN TRIO (Independent CD release) Bruce Freedman - alto and soprano sax Clyde Reed - bass Dylan van der Schyff- drums (see reviews below) -Bruce Freedman also appears on the following recordings: -George Lewis and the NOW Orchestra 'The Shadowgraph series' Compositions for creative orchestra. Spool Recordings -Le tour du bloc - Rene Lussier and NOW Orchestra- compact disc, Victo Recording (1995) -Study - Witch Gong Game, Barry Guy and the NOW Orchestra- 11/10, CD, Maya Recordings, (1994) -Noir - with Paul Plimley, Gregg Bendian, Lisle Ellis, CD, Victo Recordings (1993) -N.O.W.YOU HEAR IT, Bruce Freedman Trio, CD, Nine Winds Recordings (1992) -The Time is N.O.W., Chief Feature, includes the legendary Claude Ranger on drums. CD, Nine Winds Recordings (1990) -When Elephants Dance Chief Feature, Limited Edition Cassette (1988) -Vancouver Art Trio, Bruce Freedman, tenor sax, Gregg Simpson, drums, Clyde Reed, bass. Limited Edition Cassette (1987) -Chief Feature, Bruce Freedman,tenor and alto saxophones, Paul Plimely, vibes, Blaine Wikjord, drums, Paul Blaney, bass. Limited Edition Cassette (1985) CONTACT Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ___ REVIEWS: Review by Frank Rubolino [one final note | issue #9] ENORMOUS MOMENTS-The BRUCE FREEDMAN TRIO Vancouver has put it's mark on the creative music world in the last decade or so through it's incubation and development of a thriving art colony. Bruce Freedman has been an active participant in that movement throughout the 1990s and into the new century. In addition to fronting his own groups and playing with many of the leading names of the city, he has been a long-time force with the acclaimed NOW Orchestra. On Enormous Moments, Freedman joins with fellow Vancouver artists Clyde Reed and Dylan van der Schyff on an uplifting, supercharged trio flight where the music speeds along on high-octane fuel used for propulsion. Freedman plays with a cutting edge that slices to the heart of the theme lines and dissects them while spinning out long passages of improvised splendor. The recording is a true showcase for his improvising talent, allowing him the pleasure of expounding at length while expressing himself with vivid, wide-open phrasing. He is equally acute on alto and soprano. Freedman takes his horns down twisting and turning roads and easily negotiates every curve. While Freedman is the prevalent force on this date, the contributions of both Reed and van der Schyff are inseparable from the success of the session. The drum accents and emphasis from van der Schyff are intricate and stimulating. He does not project in an overt manner but instead builds entangled percussion webs using cymbals and rims to embellish everything Freedman throws at him. As the tunes evolve, he gets more complex and aggressive, inserting appropriately placed bursts of deepening sound without attempting to overwhelm. Reed uses the bow for specific emphasis, but he primarily remains in pizzicato mode on bass. He produces a densely resonating tone that subtly encases each selection. His patterns begin with a recurring beat but soon evolve into ambitious wanderings, yet he always finds the homeport to solidify the songs with his anchoring strength. Freedman composed seven of the eight tunes, giving the performance a fresh sound and giving himself the platform from which to dive assertively into his extended dissertations. His interpretative approach to Wayne Shorter's 'Footprints' with it's captivating theme line and ensuing diversions fits the mold he casts with his own tunes, and the program zooms forward without any hesitations. This is excellently crafted and provocative music with full emphasis on the creative side of the equation. I found myself listening to it repeatedly and being rewarded every time. ___ REVIEW by Mark Corroto, All About Jazz. Enormous Moments by saxophonist Bruce Freedman's trio reminds one of the revolutionary sounds made by Ornette Coleman, circa 1960. Unlike Coleman, Freedman has no motive for anarchy and certainly in the 21st century, where nothing's shocking, I cannot claim to have been shocked by this recording. But listeners familiar with the revolution of jazz sounds certainly will appreciate this trio's approach. Freedman, a Vancouver native, has been playing jazz for nearly twenty years, recording with the Barry Guy, George Lewis, Rene Lussier, Paul Plimley, and Gregg Bendian. His approach to composition and playing incorporates the techniques of more outward free jazz players like Evan Parker, Mats Gustafsson and Sam Rivers into tighter, more accessible formations. Like a storyteller, he holds your attention by returning to themes and patterns within a song. At the start of 'The Demon Preaches Back,' be begins with a statement that gets repeated, mantra like, through a chase and flurry of energy. Likewise the title tracks, part one and two, that bookend this recording repeat a slow figure that is ripe for group improvisation. With Freedman on soprano saxophone, 'Oasis' draws a straight line back to the theories and music of John Coltrane and his almost infinite permutations for improvisational patterns. His working trio plays off this freedom/composed approach, responding with their own improvisations yet strictly adhering to the framework of each song. In other words, they take their listeners to the precipice of deconstruction but never fall into the abyss. Fortunately Bruce Freedman and company play this music with very little risk that like Ornette Coleman, crowds will destroy his horn and chase them out of town. He does though play jazz music like there is no more important mission in this world. Highly recommended. ___ REVIEW by Alex Varty, Georgia Straight, February 7, 2002. ENORMOUS MOMENTS (Independent) Can beautiful music be polite? It can, I think: consider the charmingly suave piano scores of Claude Debussy, the solicitously formal soundscapes of the Penguin Café Orchestra, or the exquisitely genteel improvisations of jazz guitar master Jim Hall. But there's another king of beauty that sometimes finds expression through music, a wild, voluptuous brand that spills off the stage or out of the speakers like a torrent of unfettered imagination. That's the kind of beauty - and the kind of music - Bruce Freedman delivers on his long-overdue solo debut, Enormous Moments; while the saxophonist does have his more pensive side, he's more likely to concoct long, sweeping strings of notes that explode with the force of pure feeling. His lines coil and curve around Clyde Reed'' big-hearted bass; then, driven on by Dylan van der Schyff's crisply assertive percussion, they tend to spiral upward toward emotional catharsis. Most of the CD finds Freedman, Reed, and van der Schyff running free through the trackless terrain of collective improvisation, and it's to their great credit that they never sound lost, aimless, or dispirited. Instead, they're adventurous and abandoned, and it's in this bold approach that 'Enormous Moments' true beauty lies. ___ REVIEW by Marke Andrews, Vancouver Sun, February 23, 2002 4 stars The sax-bass-drums trio is not an easy beast to ride. Unless the members of the trio are in perfect musical sync, the tendency is to overplay as a way to compensate for the lack of a chording instrument. No such problem exists in this Vancouver trio, consisting of alto and soprano saxophonist Bruce Freedman, bassist Clyde Reed and drummer Dylan van der Schyff. Right from the impressionistic opener, Enormous Moments 1, it's apparent all three musicians have their ears wide open, sensitive to one another's moves. This occurs on both high-energy numbers like Lena Leaps, and on more pensive works, such as A Mountain Pool. Best track, in terms of improvisation, is the 10 minute Ruby, which feeds off Reed's ostinatto bass line and van der Schyff's airy percussion, allowing Freedman to soar and search on tenor. Even though the composition changes from structure to free-playing, the line of communication among the players never wavers. Vancouverjazz.com/freedman.