One of the founders and mavens of Chicago's free-form everything music, Ernest Dawkins, took a big side-step with a more conventional, straight-ahead-jazz album in '12 (his latest--he's due another). A look at his Discog for 20 years shows stars galore: http://www.allmusic.com/artist/ernes...81/discography << All "free" music--jazz, classical, whatever came to his fertile imagination and his bandmates imaginative and practical skills.
And then he changes up. Here's Ron Weinstock's blog entry: http://inabluemood.blogspot.com/2012...head-afro.html His Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Dawkins and his Site: http://ernestdawkins.com/
Some tunes from that album (1 "free" piece at the end):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUo9jxa-A_U << He's found that place just inside the limits of accessibility...and played beautifully there. A superior take.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9g5sLc8EBQ An OMG take on this classic--listen through your best cans; it'll infuse you.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_byk0qrsAI << This is the one for the serious knowledgeable jazz lover...and a great one for all of us.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9FsYwerlAo << A strictly-jazz tune but lovely--the kind that can bring folks into the jazz fold--shows them what to expect in the mildly adventurous without going all honk 'n' squeak.
Now for aficionados: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J60SFL6pFUk