After living and working in Europe for the last decade, innovative saxophonist Chico Freeman makes his long-awaited return to the United States in May, with a special two set performance at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola in New York City on Thursday, May 19 at 7:30pm and 9:30pm. The full performance will be live-streamed at Jazz.org/live. Marking this auspicious homecoming, the creative and trailblazing artist will celebrate with the domestic release of his tour-de-force album Spoken Into Existence (Jive Music, May 13, 2016). Freeman’s stateside return offers more cause for celebration, as he introduces audiences to his new ensemble: The Chico Freeman Plus+tet featuring pianist Luke Carlos O’Reilly, bassist Kenny Davis, drummer Nasheet Waits and exotic percussionist Reto Weber.
In the early 2000s, with dozens of recordings as a leader, Freeman moved from New York to Europe to start a new chapter of exploration by focusing on his own self-improvement and self-reflection. His thirst to immerse himself in his music, his curiosity to explore working with different musicians and living in different cultures while challenging himself to be better than he was, has all prepared Freeman for this new stateside chapter of his life.
With the U.S. release of his stunning album Spoken Into Existence, he is joined on the 13-piece program by his international quartet he’s worked with regularly since 2013 (Italian pianist Antonio Faraò, Swiss bassist Heiri Känzig, and American drummer Michael Baker). Freeman serves notice that he is still a force to be reckoned with by addressing a cohort of rich melodies framed within a diverse array of styles (hip hop, funk, bebop, post-bop, the blues, melodies conjured from African and Asian scales) and renders them on tenor and soprano saxophones with keen intention, authoritative execution, and tonal control that transforms his metal instruments into analogue for the human voice.