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.

Album information

Title: Back at the Velvet Lounge | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Delmark Records

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Son Of Nyx
Son Of Nyx
Tamil Rogeon
Read Solo/Duo
Solo/Duo
Eli Wallace/Beth McDonald
Read Solo
Solo
Daniel Rotem
Read Immigrance
Immigrance
Snarky Puppy
Read Rites of Fire
Rites of Fire
Kelvin Sholar Trio
Read BB XL
BB XL
Walter White

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.