Russ Freeman (pianist)

Russ Freeman (Pianist)

Russ Freeman (pianist)

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Russell Donald Freeman (May 28, 1926 in Chicago, Illinois – June 27, 2002 in Las Vegas, Nevada) was a bebop and cool jazz pianist and composer.

Freeman was initially classically trained, but later turned toward jazz of a largely bop style. His reputation as a jazz pianist grew in the 1940s when he did work with Art Pepper, Shorty Rogers, and Chet Baker. Among his best regarded work is his extensive collaboration with Shelly Manne, especially in the 1950s and 1960s.

In 1991, Mariah Carey wrote her own lyrics to Freeman's "The Wind" for her album Emotions. Freeman had written "The Wind" with original lyrics by Jerry Gladstone; it had been performed as an instrumental piece during the 1950s and 1960s by the likes of Chet Baker, Leo Wright, and Stan Getz, as well as sung by vocalist June Christy (on The Misty Miss Christy). Freeman's piano is featured on the 1954 recording of "The Wind," which has since become a jazz standard, for the album Chet Baker with Strings (also found on the CD Deep in a Dream: The Ultimate Chet Baker Collection where Freeman plays on seven cuts including another of his compositions, "Summer Sketch"). Freeman remained busy in music throughout his life, transitioning from jazz pianist to film scoring and composition before his death in Las Vegas in 2002.

Freeman was married three times, and he had one daughter, Paula Kenley Freeman, from his second marriage. He had no grandchildren.His daughter moved from...
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