Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Freedman, Bruce (Robert)
Freedman, Bruce (Robert), saxophonist/composer; b. Utica, NY, 14 June 1950. He moved to Los Angeles in 1955, then moved to Vancouver, B.C. Canada in 1972, where he became a citizen. He now lives there with his wife, Noele (a music therapist) and daughter, Ruby. His mother, Dorothy, was born in New York in 1918. His father was born in Ohio in 1920 and was a salesman most of his life. His mother was a housewife and the mother to three sons, Bruce, Gary and Jeff. Gary is a psychiatrist living in LA.
He was turned onto jazz when he was 17, listening to John Coltrane. It was a powerful source of meaning for him during that time. He got a horn and a group of buddies and he would blow, trying to emulate that hypnotic space of late Trane (even though they barely knew how to play). He began taking lessons after a powerful discussion with Paul Horn, whom he met at a meditation program. He studied some theory at Valley College in LA. Studied saxophone with Don Rafell but he's mostly self-taught. Major influences: firstly John Coltrane, then Ornette Coleman, Jimmy Lyons, Albert Ayler and, in general, the music of that generation.
Freedman has been playing on the creative jazz scene in Vancouver, since 1973. 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 Glenn Ferris, 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, with the NOW Orchestra, and special guest artist legendary trombonist/composer George Lewis, embarked on a well-received five-city Canadian tour to Guelph, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Vancouver. In 2002 they performed to critical acclaim at the Chicago Jazz Festival with guest soloists including Roscoe Mitchell and Fred Anderson. A few weeks later they performed at the Berlin Jazz Festival, the Bim Haus in Amsterdam and some engagements in Austria.
He performs around British Columbia with his own quartet, in clubs, concert venues and festivals.
His principal ensembles have been Chief Feature (1981-1990), Vancouver Art Trio (1985-1987), Paul Plimley Quartet (1991-93), New Orchestra Workshop Orchestra (1992-present), the Bruce Freedman Quartet (1993), the Bruce Freedman Trio (1998-2000) and the Bruce Freedman Quartet (2002).
Chief Feature (1985); Vancouver Art Trio (1987); When Elephants Dance (1988); The Time is N.O.W. (1990); N.O.W. You Hear It (1992); Enormous Moments (2001)
Noir; Barry Guy and the NOW Orchestra (1994); Rene Lussier and NOW Orchestra: Le tour du bloc (1995); George Lewis and the NOW Orchestra: The Shadowgraph series (2002)