Chico Freeman: It Never Entered My Mind


It Never Entered My Mind


Chico Freeman (tenor sax)


Spirit Sensitive (India Navigation 1045)

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Chico Freeman (tenor sax), John Hicks (piano), Cecil McBee (bass), Billy Hart (drums).

Composed by Richards Rodgers & Lorenz Hart


Recorded: New York, October 1978


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

Chico Freeman and David Murray both emerged onto the avant-garde jazz scene in the mid-'70s, and both would go on to embrace the Great American Songbook as well as more contemporary jazz standards. Freeman beat all his peers to the punch in that regard, however, with his unexpected 1979 Spirit Sensitive release. Given the influence of his father, Von, perhaps his choice of tunes such as "Autumn in New York," "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," and "It Never Entered My Mind" should not have been a surprise. "My father is so serious and dedicated," Chico said at the time. "I've seen that in his life every day. I used to listen to him practice all the time." While Chico sounds nothing like his father, his schooling in the jazz tradition was evident from his first recordings.

"It Never Entered My Mind" begins with Hicks's melodic piano intro before Freeman enters with a graceful arpeggio and plays the theme with a warm and rich Chicago tenor sound, tinged with a touch of that crying edge Coltrane possessed on ballads. Chico's solo is unabashedly melodic, surefooted and enticing. Hicks then solos rhapsodically, and Freeman reenters to sing the standard once again. The out-chorus is a delight. As Freeman introduces a dancing rhythmic pattern and switches to more intense multi-noted lines and swirling circular phrases, the piece suddenly turns into a heady Charles Lloyd/"Forest Flower"- flavored romp. Sublime playing that stands the test of time.

Reviewer: Scott Albin

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