Multi-instrumentalist Chico Freeman is arguably one of the most talented musicians of his time. As a post bop constituent, Chico stands as a dominant and prolific tenor saxophonist, yet he is often ignored by mainstream radio. Since 1976, Freeman has embodied the conceptualized approach to jazz in both practice and style. Chico’s appearance in June of 1982 with Wynton Marsalis, Paquito D’Rivera, Kevin Eubanks, Anthony Davis and others was heralded as the future of jazz for the next generation. His latest CD entitled Out of Many Comes the One on the Arabesque Record Label is best described as one of his best to date. As always, Chico goes the distance towards being an innovative jazz practitioner.
Although Chico Freeman’s talent may not be the stuff of legends at this point in his career, he has either played or recorded with some of jazz’s legendary musicians. As a composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist, Chico has done stints with Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, Lester Bowie, Bobby Hutcherson, Elvin Jones, Hank Jones, Tito Puente, Roy Haynes, Machito, Charles Mingus, Celia Cruz and a host of other notable artists. On the pop and R&B side of the fence, Freeman has done time with The Temptations, The Four Tops, The Eurythmics and Earth, Wind & Fire. In addition, Freeman’s continued resume reads like a Who’s Who of Jazz while gradually becoming one of jazz’s most dominant musicians.
With the release of Out of Many Comes The One, Chico has chosen to contrast his musical ability by combining some of his specialized straight ahead ideas with the nuances of percussive rhythmic influences. The progressive nature of his work allows Chico to explore his own creative flow; however, he seldom if ever strays too far away from the roots of classic jazz. This latest CD is a cornucopia of his thought processes and everything he observed while listening to his father, saxophonist Von Freeman. As one examines the dynamics of Chico’s career, what stands out more than not is his intense passion for jazz. As one of the best composers and producers in jazz today, Chico approaches every one of his projects with the realization that jazz is an embrace of everything known and not known. Seemingly what he has attempted to do in the past as well as with Out of Many Comes The One is to weave a picturesque perspective, one that showcases a rhythmic expansiveness as well as a host of dominant characteristics associated with jazz, to include improvisation.
Out of Many Comes The One gives hope to the true nature of jazz, one that is not filled to the brim with undocumented lullabies. Chico’s basic scope is enhanced by his creative ideas and depth of spirit. Over 12 brilliantly conceived tracks; Chico Freeman goes the distance towards creating an environment where straight ahead jazz is palatable to the staunchest of smooth enthusiasts. The recording is sensitive and inviting to the emotions, while Chico is seldom dull in his approach, nor does he border on the mundane. In fact, there is a built-in continuity of purpose, which stands ready to make him one of jazz’s premier musicians. In the end, Out of Many Comes The One is an album that is the epitome of what modern day classic jazz should be. When listening to Freeman's music, there is a constant reminder of how America's artistic impressionism evolved.