Fred Anderson, R.I.P.
Fred Anderson, who exemplified the Chicago avant garde as a tenor saxophonist and as a club owner gave it work, has died at 81. The Chicago Tribune's Howard Reich followed Anderson's career. He writes in the newspaper:
His was a rigorous, demanding brand of jazz improvisation that bridged the bebop idiom of Charlie Parker (an Anderson hero) with the free jazz" experiments of the 1960s and thereafter. The fast-flying phrases and blues-driven energy of bebop converged with the non-chordal, anything-goes song structures of free jazz" in Anderson's best work.
Whenever Anderson held the stage, he famously leaned forward a bit, unleashing torrents of notes, one phrase cascading atop another, solos often unfolding over a Herculean 20 minutes or more. Even at his 81st birthday show, last March at his beloved Velvet Lounge, the man packed an avalanche of ideas into every soliloquy.
Reich's obituary of Anderson includes a video interview. To read it, go here.
This brief, rather disjointed, promotional video for his Timeless DVD gives you Anderson playing at his beloved Velvet Lounge and talking about his early career.