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Bud Freeman Quartet 1962

Teschemacher (glasses), Jimmy and
Dick McPartland, Bud and his brother,
the actor Arny Freeman, in Chicago,1923.
Bud Freeman, the dapper dan of the original Chicagoans, always had about him an air of sophistication. At various times in his life he had wanted to be a professional golfer, a tap dancer, drummer, and even a Shakespearian actor. He looked the part for all of these professions. It is said that Lester Young admired Bud's playing, which should surprise few people—Bud's inspiration was Frank Teschemacher, the enigmatic alumnus of the fabled Austin High School Gang. I don't recall why I decided to do a session under Bud's leadership, except that his extraordinary solo on a 1933 recording, The Eel, by Eddie Condon's band was still glued to the walls of my mind. Bud recorded it again under his own name in 1939. A couple of weeks after this quartet session, I asked Bud to come back for an Elmer Snowden date that put him up front with Roy Eldridge—I will post some of that here, later.

This was not a working group, although pianist Dave Frishberg had been gigging regularly with Bud for awhile. This turned out to be Dave's first commercial recording session—he moved on, as you probably know, to compose and record a slew of wonderfully witty songs like Blizzard of Lies, My Attorney Bernie, and Peel Me a Grape.

Meet You in San Juan, Bud Freeman's own composition, gives all four players a spotlight opportunity, which is something Haggart and Lamont were no strangers to. Bassist Bob Haggart was a founding member of Bob Crosby's highly successful 1935 band (remember Big Noise from Winnetka?) and drummer Don Lamont's eventful career took him way beyond being a driving force in Woody Herman's memorable "Four Brothers" band.

Bud Freeman and Duke Ellington in 1939


  1. I always liked Mr Freeman's sound. What is the recording date, Chris?

    1. January 15, 1962. Thanks for catching my omission, Ehsan—I will add it.

  2. I remember this on a Black Lion LP. Was that the first/only issue? Seems I got it later than '62...

    1. Ted, the first issue was a Fontana LP, followed by the Black Lion LP and a BL CD.