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Classic tenor battle

Von Freeman and Clifford Jordan

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At the Chicago Jazz Festival 1988


Two tenor lions in the prime of life engage in a classic tenor battle in front of a Chicago audience at the Chicago Jazz Festival in 1988.

"Cutting contests" used to be part of jazz. Musicians would trade solos with the intention of knocking out their opponent and having one player declared the winner.

In today's "competition is bad for tender souls," this approach to music may seem wrong. I don't think so. When you know what you're doing competition is fun and stimulates the creation of a lot of great things. Listen.


Von Freeman, tenor saxophone
Clifford Jordan, tenor saxophone
Willie Pickens, piano
Dan Shapera, bass
Robert Shy, drums.

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