All About Jazz: Chico Freeman Plus+tet: One of the Best Performances of the Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival

Freeman paced a nearly perfect set marked by exquisite writing and a top-shelf supporting unit. “Crossing the Sudan” was a programmatic ride on a camel that morphed into “Freeman,” a stunning feature for the drums of Nasheet Waits. The gospel tinge of “To Hear a Teardrop in the Rain” had pianist Anthony Wonsey digging deep for a masterful display of chops and soul. As a tip of the hat to Pittsburgh’s own Stanley Turrentine, Freeman’s take on “Soft Pedal Blues” spoke to his significance as a talent who has been too long deserving of wider recognition. Vibraphonist Warren Wolf tipped his hat to the great Bobby Hutcherson on the fiery “African Village,” a reasonable conclusion to what was one of the best performances of the festival.

Chris Hovan, All About Jazz