Russ Freeman

Russell Donald Freeman (May 28, 1926 – June 27, 2002) was a bebop and cool jazz pianist and composer.

Initially, Freeman was classically trained. His reputation as a jazz pianist grew in the 1940s after working with Art Pepper and Shorty Rogers. He played with Charlie Parker on the 1947 "Home Cooking" jazz session. Numerous collaborations followed in the 1950s with Chet Baker, Shelly Manne, and Art Pepper. These collaborations included the Jazz Immortal CD recorded with Russ Freeman and jazz trumpeter Clifford Brown in 1954, which included leading musicians Brown and Zoot Sims. On the Jazz Immortal CD, Russ Freeman was able to play in a combo that recorded many Clifford Brown compositions.

In 1957, he collaborated with André Previn on the album Double Play!, where they both played piano, accompanied only by Manne on drums.

In 1988, Keith Jarrett performed a version of Freeman's "The Wind" in a solo concert in Paris, which is featured on his album Paris Concert. In 1991, Mariah Carey wrote her own lyrics to "The Wind" for her album Emotions. Freeman had written "The Wind" with original lyrics by Jerry Gladstone; it had been performed as an instrumental piece during the 1950s and 1960s by the likes of Baker, Leo Wright, and Stan Getz, and had been sung by vocalist June Christy (on The Misty Miss Christy). Freeman's piano is featured on Baker's 1954 recording of "The Wind" (featured on Chet Baker & Strings). Freeman remained busy in music throughout his life, transitioning from jazz pianist to film scoring and composition before his death in Las Vegas in 2002.

Freeman was married three times, and he had one daughter, Paula Kenley Freeman, from his second marriage. He had no grandchildren. His daughter moved from Seattle to live in the Netherlands in 2009, and an interview about her relationship with her father appeared in the May 2009 issue of the European magazine, PianoWereld.

Birth and Death Data: Born May 28, 1926 (Chicago River), Died June 27, 2002 (Las Vegas)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1953 - 1959

Roles Represented in DAHR: piano

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.

Recordings

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Decca L 7392 10/2/1953 Hot shoe Leith Stevens' All-Stars instrumentalist, piano  
Decca L 7393 10/2/1953 Lonely way Leith Stevens' All-Stars instrumentalist, piano  
Decca L 7394 10/2/1953 Blues for Brando Leith Stevens' All-Stars instrumentalist, piano  
Decca L 7395 10/2/1953 Windswept Leith Stevens' All-Stars instrumentalist, piano  
Decca L 7396 10/2/1953 Beerle Leith Stevens' All-Stars instrumentalist, piano  
Decca L 7397 10/2/1953 Chino Leith Stevens' All-Stars instrumentalist, piano  
Decca L 7398 10/2/1953 Scramble Leith Stevens' All-Stars instrumentalist, piano  
Decca L 7399 10/2/1953 The wild one Leith Stevens' All-Stars instrumentalist, piano  
Decca L 11358 2/11/1959 M-Squad theme Leith Stevens Orchestra instrumentalist, piano  
Decca L 11359 2/11/1959 Peter Gunn Leith Stevens Orchestra instrumentalist, piano  
Decca L 11360 2/11/1959 The thin man Leith Stevens Orchestra instrumentalist, piano  
Decca L 11361 2/11/1959 Perry Mason theme Leith Stevens Orchestra instrumentalist, piano  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Freeman, Russ," accessed November 26, 2022, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/316423.

Freeman, Russ. (2022). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved November 26, 2022, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/316423.

"Freeman, Russ." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2022. Web. 26 November 2022.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/316423

Wikipedia content provided under the terms of the Creative Commons BY-SA license

Feedback

Send the Editors a message about this record.