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Miles Davis
Von Freeman dies at 88; jazz tenor saxophonist with singular sound
Von Freeman dies at 88; jazz tenor saxophonist with singular sound

Von Freeman was revered as a tenor saxophonist but was never a major star, worshiped by critics but perpetually strapped for cash. He seemed to purposely avoid commercial success. When trumpeter Miles Davis phoned Freeman in the 1950s looking for a replacement for John Coltrane, Freeman made a typical move — he never returned the call. His refusal to leave his native Chicago during most of his career cost him incalculable fame and fortune but also enabled him to create a body of distinctive and innovative work. This year he received a Jazz Masters Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, regarded as the nation's highest jazz honor. He had mentored countless younger...

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