Von Freeman died early this month at age 88. Freeman was a great jazz man, a sax player who excelled at his art and was a mentor to many younger players. One of his students was Kurt Elling, a Grammy Award winner and long-time Wednesday night regular at Chicago’s Green Mill. Elling now lives in New York, but he has not forgotten his teacher. He said Freeman taught him how to play, how to dress, and even how to drink: “I owe him my vocation in life.” May we all find mentors who can deserve such praise. Vonski, RIP.
Freeman at the 1988 Chicago Jazz Festival.