Tenor saxophonist extraordinare, Fred Anderson was born in Monroe, Louisiana. In 1940, Fred migrated to Evanston, Illinois, and also lived for a time in Gary, Indiana. Making a living waiting tables, and installing carpet, Fred Anderson ho nned his skills on tenor. He cites his primary musical influences as Charlie Parker because of Bird's profound knowledge of the saxophone.
In the early 1960's, Fred came in contact with more and more members of the soon-to-be-formed AACM. In 1964, he performed on what many to consider to be the first AACM concert which featured Fred, Billy Brimfield (trumpet), Joseph Jarman (woodwinds), Arth ur Reed (drums), Charles Clark (bass)