179

Fred Anderson: Back at the Velvet Lounge

Rex  Butters By

Sign in to view read count
Fred Anderson: Back at the Velvet Lounge At 74, Fred Anderson reasserts his royalty on the tenor saxophone with Back at the Velvet Lounge recorded live at Anderson's club. If anyone plays free-bop, it's Anderson. With Anderson, an athletic technique marries a fountain of melody. While Fred's more closely associated with the avant-garde, Johnny Griffin and Gene Ammons look over his shoulder now and then. His reluctance to tour may blunt his name brand recognition, but his influence over the last 40 years in Chicago reaches through many younger players, from Roscoe Mitchell to Ken Vandermark. Affirming his reputation as a powerful hard blowing musician, these tracks also show Anderson with various configurations in unexpected settings.

Drummer Chad Taylor skips on the snare to open Fougeux. With Bankhead pulling for his life, Anderson flares two fireball solos. He unleashes a vital torrent of song over Taylor's fast dancing drumsticks. Many sax slingers would be hospitalized playing his second solo on "Fougeux, let alone his first. The recording also features the debut of trumpeter Maurice Brown. Brown's played the Velvet since high school, so he brings a great playing rapport with Anderson, and a highly original voice. He blows a whirlwind of music between Anderson's car chasing expositions, moving easily from the sweet to the raw and back. Taylor keeps it fast and slippery in the cymbals with Harrison Bankhead's double time pluck on bass.

Anderson's musing solo intro to "Olivia, opens outward and becomes more strident with the addition of Bankhead, Taylor, and Tortoise guitarist Jeff Parker. While the trio plays slow and atmospherically, Anderson sails through hair-raising runs. Parker plays a gossamer-chorded solo. Bankhead moves to acoustic guitar for "Job Market Blues. His ringing glissandos and Taylor's rolling beat give the piece an exotic folk feel. Anderson makes himself at home playing staggering lines off Tatsu Aoki's ironic bass line.

"Syene brings Brown back to spar with Anderson during the spacious introduction. The trumpet player takes a jagged charge at the changes, ending reflectively making way for Anderson. Fred runs glistening variations over the thoughtful rhythm section with Brown adding bits of color. "King Fish, has Brown and Anderson playing loose unison, before Anderson punches up the abrupt funk brewing in the rhythm section. Brown pricks the beat to aggressive straight ahead. Aoki walks with Taylor and Anderson rains variations without loosing the blues.

Live at the Velvet Lounge gives non-locals a tantalizing glimpse at one of Second City's most valuable resources.


Track Listing: Fougeux; Olivia; Job Market Blues; Syene; King Fish.

Personnel: Fred Anderson: tenor sax; Maurice Brown: trumpet; Jeff Parker: guitar; Harrison Bankhead: acoustic guitar, bass; Tatsu Aoki: bass; Chad Taylor: drums.

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Delmark Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "District 6" CD/LP/Track Review District 6
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 12, 2016
Read "Natural" CD/LP/Track Review Natural
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: May 7, 2016
Read "Potsdamer Platz" CD/LP/Track Review Potsdamer Platz
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: February 3, 2017
Read "Play Date" CD/LP/Track Review Play Date
by James Nadal
Published: October 27, 2016
Read "The Journey" CD/LP/Track Review The Journey
by James Nadal
Published: January 5, 2017
Read "The Space Between" CD/LP/Track Review The Space Between
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!