If you happened to be in the crowd at the Green Mill last year when Bud Freeman played there, count yourself among the lucky; there were almost as many outside trying to get in as were already inside. And little wonder; Bud Freeman is a phenomenon. As one of the founding members of the legendary Austin High Gang, Bud was one of the first white players to pick up on an exciting new type of music–then unnamed–as performed by the likes of King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Bessie Smith, and Ethel Waters back in the 20s. Bud went on to become one of the leading sax soloists of the swing era, and his unique sound has been in demand the world over ever since. Now an octogenarian, Bud still performs sporadically, and amazingly enough, the lyricism of that smooth, mellow, rich Freeman sound is as vibrant and refreshing as ever. Bud’s present lineup for this rare appearance includes a mix of players influenced by the Charlie Parker bebop school and the swing era: Gene Esposito, guitarist Bobby Roberts, bassist John Bany, and drummer Jerry Coleman. It’s not to be missed; Bud is the last of an all but vanished breed. Saturday, 9 PM, Green Mill, 4802 N. Broadway; 878-5552.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Bruce Powell.