Free jazz encounters the English folk song. With his perceptive arrangements, Saxophonist-arranger-composer Joki Freund, a major force in German post-war jazz, captures and combines the atmospheres of both genres. English couple Colin Wilkie and Shirley Hart began as wandering troubadours, and traveled on to become a mainstay on the bourgeoning European folk scene of the ‘60’s. The core of the accompanying Hessen Radio Jazz Ensemble is trombone icon Albert Mangelsdorff’s Quintet, a group that changed the shape of German jazz in the 1960’s. Wilkie’s Icy Acres follows the tradition of English-Scottish whaling songs. Based on an old sea shanty, Fourth Flight features impressive solos by Mangelsdorff and tenor saxophonist Heinz Sauer. On the impressionistic Snowy Sunday a pulsing 6/8 rhythm propels Albert’s brother Emil’s flute, a vocal interlude, and Freund’s impassioned soprano solo. Willow and Rue has a processional feel before breaking out into a swinging Mangelsdorff solo. Played in quartet, Lament mourns the death of a child, with Shirley the solo vocal and Albert accompanying. Based on a 14th century folk song, Joki Freund’s Ich armes Maidlein klag mich sehr represents a tour de force of arranging. The traditional English love song Sweet Primroses receives affectionate treatment by Wilkie and Hart and a passionate solo by Sauer. With songs handsomely sung, sensitive arrangements, and an ensemble that includes Mangelsdorff’s quintet at its height, this album proves that folk and jazz are soul siblings at heart.