Recent Articles

MUSIC AND THE CREATIVE SPIRIT

Fred Anderson: In Loving Memory....

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I had the opportunity to interview with Fred Anderson on several occasions. In each instance I walked away with the feeling that I was a better person for the time I spent with him. It was his wisdom, his generosity of spirit, his knowingness that our time here on this planet was short at best, and his humble appreciation to have been able to play music during this lifetime.He had a gentle soul that was much larger than life, and his sound and spirit reached far beyond the realm of this universe. His passing digs deep and severed ...

ARTIST PROFILES

Fred Anderson: 1929-2010

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There aren't many artists with so singular a vision as that of late Fred Anderson, who died June 24 at the age of 81. There are fewer to be certain if the list is restricted to members of that exalted and nebulous class called “masters." It's a word that, in jazz, gets thrown around a little too casually. A master composer might excel at writing for string quartet as well as symphony. A master musician might be fluent in a variety of instruments. But a mastery like Anderson's is harder to quantify. For much of his career, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Fred Anderson: Black Horn Long Gone

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Fred Anderson is one of today's most powerful and singular saxophonists. Recorded in 1993, this trio (with bassist Malachi Favors and drummer Ajaramu--aka AJ Shelton--who have both since passed away) flies blissfully to new heights for piano-less sax trios. To call Anderson a member of the free jazz movement produces an incomplete picture. His technical facility and penchant for swinging is more influenced by Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young and Charlie Parker. Even an unaccompanied solo homage, “Ode To Clifford Jordan," links to swing while also delving into motific development and the total range of the tenor sax: clear low notes ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Fred Anderson: Birthday Live 2000 and 21st Century Chase

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Fred Anderson Trio Birthday Live 2000 Asian Improv 2009 Fred Anderson 21st Century Chase Delmark 2009

Of all the players who have come through Fred Anderson's training ground in Chicago, none has been more closely identified with him than drummer Hamid Drake. But as demand for Drake's services has grown, so has his time away from Chicago and it's drummer Chad Taylor who has filled the void. Not coincidentally, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Fred Anderson: 21st Century Chase

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There are few more thrilling sounds in jazz than the twin tenors of Fred Anderson and Kidd Jordan in aerobatic flight. Though they play together in person on at least an annual basis, including headline appearances at the Vision Festival in 2005 and 2008, this is the first time they have appeared together on disc since the classic Two Days in April (Eremite, 1999). Anderson came up with the title in homage to a storied encounter between Dexter Gordon and Wardell Gray, and also as an allusion to how he and Jordan simultaneously complement and feed off of each other.

DVD/VIDEO/FILM REVIEWS

Fred Anderson: 21st Century Chase

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Fred Anderson 21st Century Chase Delmark Records 2009

Saxophonist Fred Anderson turned 80 on March 22, 2009 and celebrated the occasion with a concert at The Velvet Lounge in Chicago. He called in fellow tenor player Kidd Jordan, bassist/cellist Harrison Bankhead, guitarist Jeff Parker and drummer Chad Taylor to join him. What transpired was a hot, steamy barrage of music, ignited by two senior citizens of improvised music, which has been released on DVD and CD.

Jordan, who was 74 at the time, is the progenitor, playing with rapid fire intensity while ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Fred Anderson: 21st Century Chase

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To quote Roger Daltry of The Who, from 1965:

Why don't you all f-fade away (Talkin' 'bout my generation) And don't try to dig what we all s-s-say (Talkin' 'bout my generation) I'm not trying to cause a big s-s-sensation (Talkin' 'bout my generation) I'm just talkin' 'bout my g-g-g-generation (Talkin' 'bout my generation) This is my generation. This is my generation, baby.

It's not likely that anyone was thinking about the line, “I hope I die before I get old," at Fred Anderson's 80th birthday bash, a week-long celebration. Because, the seemingly eternal saxophonist continues to roll, ...



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