Fred Anderson, a tenor saxophonist who tied the bebop innovations of Charlie Parker to the explorations of later avant-garde musicians and who owned the Velvet Lounge, a South Side Chicago club known for fostering the careers of emerging players, died on Thursday. He was 81.
The Associated Press and The Chicago Tribune reported that Mr. Anderson's sons, Michael and Eugene, confirmed the death but declined to give a cause. Mr. Anderson was admitted to a hospital in Evanston, Ill., on June 12 complaining of stomach pains. He suffered a heart attack on June 14 and afterward, Eugene Anderson told The Tribune, was comatose and unlikely to recover.
Though largely uncelebrated outside Chicago and the inner circles of the jazz world, Mr. Anderson was an accomplished musician with a robust and opulent sound, whose furious arpeggios reflected the early influence of Parker but whose dissonant, impulsively searching flights were born in the free-jazz heyday of the 1960s.
Over the past quarter-century he recorded more than two dozen albums, with musicians including the saxophonist Joseph Jarman and the trombonist George Lewis, and performed in Europe and in New York (where he had been scheduled to perform with the drummer Chad Taylor on Thursday night as part of the Vision Festival).