New album 'El Barranco released July 15 2017. Listen to excerpts here
Debut album 'In the Chophouse' released on Whirlwind recordings April 2014
Tori Freestone is a saxophonist, flautist and violinist who has been performing at the forefront of the British improvised music scene as both a side women and highly regarded bandleader for over a decade. Her multi-faceted skills have seen her work as a core member with such diverse bands as the Ivo Neame Quintet/Octet, Andre Canniere Sextet, ‘Compassionate Dictatorship’ (her own co-led group with Jez Franks), Loop Collective’s Rory Simmons as well as artists such as the Cuban group ’Orquesta Timbala’, singer Brigitte Beraha, saxophone colossus Andy Sheppard and trumpeter Neil Yates. Indeed this wealth of experiences has shaped Freestone’s playing and composing and this is highly evident on her debut. A robust tenor sound, melodic invention and a balance between wit and playfulness in her original songs mark Freestone’s music out, not to mention a strong willingness to blur the lines between the written and improvised. Comprised of long-time musical associates in the uber-creative drummer Tim Giles and highly original bassist Dave Manington, the trio has been developing Tori’s repertoire which explores the openness that the saxophone trio allows while taking inspiration from some of the non-chordal sax led trios of the moment. This group dynamic has culminated into a program of music that has been developed over the last few years and, excitedly, has been recorded for Freestone’s first appearance as a leader on Whirlwind Recordings.
From moments of intensity and volume to passages of calm, folk-influenced soundscapes, In the Chophouse and El Barranco showcases three highly experienced and eclectic musicians at their very best. From the first note their approach to openness allows the music to dictate the proceedings which also invites the listener to take a strong role in the interpretation of the music. Freestone’s assent to solo artist has been a timed move, but one that has been certainly worth the wait.
Excepts from 'In the Chophouse':
IN THE CHOPHOUSE ALBUM REVIEWS
"Freestone has clearly listened widely, but her musicality and broad experiences have stirred all that input into an imposingly original sound", John Fordham, The Guardian 4 star review
"This absorbing collection heralds the arrival of a fine trio and a new talent in the thriving British jazz scene—here's to more good times around the corner", Phil Barnes, All About Jazz 5 star review
"This is a tightly integrated trio in which Tori’s adventurous tenor sax lines mesh with Dave Manington’s bass and the drums of Tim Giles. The three work hand in glove to produce some fascinating improvised lines, always melodic, always swinging and always of interest to the alert listener" Derek Ansell, Jazz Journal 5 star review
"Tori Freestone is a great communicator, and a there’s playfulness among the serious chops....the musicians have a strong rapport, honed since student days, and listening is pure pleasure- that delicious tenor sound" London Jazz
“In the Chop House” sees Freestone taking on the challenge of the saxophone trio and succeeding. The album title is also doubtless a playful reference to the “chops” of the musicians, something they clearly have in abundance, but the music is about so much more than that. This is the sound of a trio taking risks and having fun but underlying it all is a thoughtfulness and an innate and undemonstrative musicality built entirely upon mutual trust." The Jazzman
"Her interpretation of Gershwin’s Not For Me shows her sensitivity to melody, a strain that is clear in her own compositions and in her improvisations which have a strong narrative line and highly aware sense of structure and harmony. It’s that harmonic sense, and the strongly melodic playing of both Manington and Giles, that make this a saxophone trio album that never sounds too sparse or lacking in a chordal instrument" The Jazz Breakfast
"Tori Freestone has been a tremendous surprise. She has a unique language....an album with much sincerity and without artifice." Zona de Jazz, Spain
"For In The Chop House her debut as leader, the saxophonist-composer explores the more exposed, harmonically open-ended format of the sax-bass-drums trio... Freestone is inventive, feinting and jabbing at themes and in often playful dance-like conversation with drums and bass....a recording that has a real depth to it" 4 Stars, Jazzwise Magazine
"In The Chop House is a noteworthy debut - technically impressive and delivered by a musician who's voice is mature, beautiful, refined and solid from years of honing her craft. This record is a modern jazz treat that will surely keep the purists happy." The Girls Are Magazine
"Freestone's boldness is amply rewarded. She brings a pleasing freshness and invention to the music."