Tori Freestone is a British saxophonist, flautist and violinist who performs at the forefront of the UK improvised music scene as both a sidewomen and highly regarded bandleader. She is known for her robust tenor sound, melodic invention as well as an ability to amalgamate into a variety of styles and musical contexts while maintaining her highly personal and distinct voice. As a composer her writing balances wit with playfulness while exploring new ways to blur the lines between the written and improvised.
Her playing is and has featured in a number of the UK’s most exciting contemporary bands such as The Ivo Neame Quintet and Octet (with an album released on Edition Records in 2012 and a live album in 2014), ‘Compassionate Dictatorship’ (a group she co-leads with guitarist Jez Franks who have released three albums to date, each receiving widespread European critical acclaim), Loop Collective Member Rory Simmons’ ‘Fringe Magnetic’ (with three albums available on the Loop Label, one of which features Jamie Cullum on vocals), the London Jazz Orchestra, Neil Yates’ N-Circle’ Jazz Orchestra, ‘Solstice’ (a sextet featuring Brigitte Beraha and John Turville), Andy Sheppard, NYJO, the Creative Jazz Orchestra, country legend Lee Hazlewood, the Cuban group ‘Orquesta Timbala’ and the Dave Manington Septet.
But it is Freestone’s new trio that has been gaining the most attention for her as of late. Comprised of long-time musical associates in uber-creative drummer Tim Giles and the highly original bassist Dave Manington, Freestone has been developing her own 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 for the trio that has been developed over the last few years and, excitedly, has been recorded for release on the Whirlwind Recordings label, Freestone’s debut for the London-based imprint.
Freestone’s performance and session highlights to date include: The Royal Festival Hall, the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the National Theatre, The 606 Club, The Vortex, Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, Glastonbury Festival, the ‘Big Chill’, Skein Jazz (Norway) and the London, Cork, Jersey, Cheltenham, Brecon, Manchester, Elb (Germany), Haskovo (Bulagaria) and North Sea (Holland) Jazz Festivals, plus tours of the UK, Portugal, Germany, Holland and Bulgaria. She has also recorded with Melanie Blatt and DJ Levan J with releases for De Wolfe Music, SFP (USA), Soul Star (Germany), Cool Sound Music (Spain), United (NL) and VI music (Puerto Rico).
As an educator, she has performed workshops for the Welsh College of Music, Kingston University and Truro College, while lecturing at Middlesex University and Leeds College of Music.
“The excellent saxophonist Tori Freestone makes for a very impressive listen. Robust tenor work.”
“A pleasingly circumspect but powerful and cogent saxophonist.”
Vortex Jazz Review
“Tori Freestone has a warm and open tone, her playing is melodic and innovative, exploring the full range of the saxophone.”
All About Jazz
“The versatile tenorist/flautist, her sound pure toned yet incisive in the upper register in the manner of US master Mark Turner.”
The Evening Standard
“A flute and reeds player of nicely sinuous melodic invention.”