If it wasn't one already, Fred Anderson's trio with Hamid Drake and William Parker can rightly be considered a supergroup. Anderson was named the first Vision Festival Lifetime Recognition honoree last month, and if such awards were given, Drake and Parker would surely have shared the MVP trophy. While the three have worked together beforenotably in quartet with Kidd Jordanthis is their first trio recording.
Blue Winter also may be Anderson's definitive release, at least thus far. He's made great records before (see especially Vintage Duets with the late drummer Steve McCall and Chicago Chamber Music, featuring varying lineups) and the documents from his Southside Velvet Lounge club capture a homebrewed character, but Blue Winter is the best effort yet at preserving Anderson's sound in a petri dish.
The first disc is a long, relaxed jam of 45 minutes, with Parker and Drake in an exploratory mood. While the rhythm section players' penchant for groove has rightly made them in high demand, they're also extraordinarily flexible. It isn't until twelve minutes into the first track on the second disc that they start to fall into regular rhythm and even then in flux. The second disc continues with a thirteen-minute call and response with Parker on the double-reed nagaswaram and Drake on hand drum, before concluding with another slow, free jam. Extended unaccompanied sax and percussion sections strengthen the trio's stance.
But the real value of the set is the presence of the no longer under-recognized Anderson. He's released a dozen or more records in the last decade, after making it to retirement age with barely a handful of records to his name. Blue Winter is pure Andersonwith the best rhythm section in the land to be sureand an indispensable selection of energy improv.
Track Listing: CD1: i. CD2: ii; iii; iv.
Personnel: Fred Anderson: tenor saxophone; Hamid Drake: drums; William Parker: bass, nagaswarm.
I love jazz because I was born and raised here in America, and it is one of the most significant cultural contributions we have given to the world. It is an incredibly sophisticated artform that continues to challenge boundaries while delighting and engaging listeners of all different ages and backgrounds
I love jazz because I was born and raised here in America, and it is one of the most significant cultural contributions we have given to the world. It is an incredibly sophisticated artform that continues to challenge boundaries while delighting and engaging listeners of all different ages and backgrounds. I love how jazz can involve musicians who may have never met each other can coming together and making incredible music by referring to the Great American Songbook and musicians who have been playing together for years, who have a deep connection and who explore and create original music that is at the cutting edge of musical innovation in every sense. Performing jazz music requires a virtuosity and technique that only strict discipline can teach as well as a spontaneity and playfulness that reflects the simple folk roots of the music.
I was first exposed to jazz as a student in college. Only knowing I wanted to play guitar, I enrolled in an applied music program that focused on Jazz rhythm section playing. The subsequent journey that I have been on since the time that I enrolled in that class has helped me grow not only as a musician but more so as a person.