Fred Anderson {Avant-Garde, Free Jazz}

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Fred Anderson {Avant-Garde, Free Jazz}

Post by Musicgate on Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:52 am

Fred Anderson - Timeless: Live at the Velvet Lounge (2006)





Genre: Free Jazz, Modern Creative, Avant-Garde Jazz
Recording Date: July 12 and 13.2005
Release Date: Apr 18, 2006
Label: Delmark 568

Source: Render's collection

Tracks info:
1. Flashback 14.05
2. Ode to Tip 16:11
3. By Many Names 12:35
4. Timeless 23:31

Personel info:
Fred Andersen, tenor
Harrison Bankhead. bass
Hamid Drake, drums, percussion

About performer:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Anderson_%28musician%29
http://www.musicianguide.com/biographies/1608002853/Fred-Anderson.html
http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/musician.php?id=3423

About albume:
http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=22810
http://rateyourmusic.com/release/album/fred_anderson/timeless__live_at_the_velvet_lounge/
http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:kzfixqydldte

"Don't you want to go hear some jazz at the Velvet Lounge?" — a character on E.R., a weekly television drama set in Chicago.
It's dusk in late winter on South Indiana Avenue in Chicago, on one of the final nights at the old Velvet Lounge. A few hours from now the club Is going to be throbbing to live jazz. Right now, though, the Hawk is whipping north winds and icy rain and the Velvet, squeezed between two shuttered, debris-strewn storefronts, looks especially forlorn. But there's a light on inside, and warmth — a wonderful artist, Fred Anderson, is here practicing his tenor sax, as he does here every day. He's a generous, soft-spoken man who owns the Velvet Lounge and who is also probably the most rewarding of all of today's fine free/underground/outside tenon'sts, in America and around the world.
This used to be a neighborhood tavern called Tip's Lounge and one of Fred's day jobs was tending bar there for Tip (Ford Manyweathers), an old family friend. When Tip died in 1981, Fred took it over, changed the name, and began offering live music. "We started having things here on Saturday nights, but that didn't work out too good, so we started having jam sessions every other Sunday," Fred recalls, and smiles: "This place has been through a lot of phases here. I had a pool table, I'd set it in the corner and put these platform stages up. Then after everybody'd leave, I'd pull the stages up and put them on the wall, and have a regular tavern here through the week."
The transition to a major jazz club took a long time. I remember the Velvet regulars who, during sessions, continued to play their enthusiastic bridge games in front of the stage, ignoring the impassioned music that swirled around them. In 1991, during Chicago Jazz Festival week, Fred
began his now-renowned after-festival sessions; he went on to add regular events and eventually offered jazz five nights a week. Young musicians and veterans joined in cross-cultural adventures there, including AACM composers and Improvisers and also explorers from Chicago's other, white, north-side experimental scene. Moreover, longtime Chicago heroes like iodie Christian and Von Freeman and distinguished visitors like Thurman Barker, Joseph Jarman, Kidd Jordan, Peter Kowald, Steve Lacy, and Roscoe Mitchell played unforgettable shows there. And on some of the happiest nights of all, Fred Anderson himself would lead his own groups.
Soon after Fred began the Velvet Lounge sessions, Bankhead joined in. He's now probably the most-wanted bassist in Chicago, with Fred, the Eight Bold Souls, Malachi Thompson's groups, and a crowd of others. Along with his big, pure tone, which recalls Malachi Favors' sound, there are the propelling swing of Bankhead's in-time playing and the dark-hued, subtle lyricism of his harmonically and rhythmically free adventures. Back when he was a sixth-grade guitarist in Waukegan, Illinois, he played in a quartet with the very young drummer Drake. Like Fred, but over two decades later, Drake was born in Monroe, Louisiana; he lived with Fred's family in Evanston, Illinois in the 1970s and studied Edward Blackwell, Indian, African, and reggae percussionists, among others. He first became noted while playing in Fred's extraordinary 70s sextet. Since then he's drummed around the world with artists from Don Cherry and Peter Brotzmann to Ken Vandermark and William Parker; still, much of his most colorful and stimulating interplay happens in his many reunions with Fred. After years of creating excellent music and inspiring others, Fred has finally become recognized as a major figure in the free-jazz, free-improvisation world. He now plays frequently in Europe and at festivals in North America, and his discog-
raphy is steadily growing. He's the author, with Paul Steinbeck, of Exercises for the Creative Musician, a practical introduction to improvising ("You'll find out you can do anything, once you hear these sounds"). In 2005 he was guest of honor at the Vision Festival in New York City, this country's leading exploratory-music annual event. Over the decades, in his own bands, at the Velvet, and earlier at J's Place and the Birdbouse, Fred has been a musical father to at least five generations of jazz artists; at that festival, Harrison Bankhead, Hamid Drake, and a parade of his other proteges returned his love.
This CD was recorded here at the old Velvet Lounge the month after those Vision Festival honors. All of the music in this album is wholly improvised: Fred Anderson likes to take chances and he wants to take you on an adventure. There are the unique weight and shape of his sound, a big, true, unvarnished tenor sound ("I've tried to get a sound so people could hear me and know that it was me," he told Sharon Friedman and Larry Birnbaum in Down Beat). There are his unique melodies, the vari-lengths and vari-shapes of his phrases, here twisting in long lines, there rocking on a riff, with vivid blues cries in his angular leaps and drops. There are the ever-evolving forms of his long solos, as he creates themes and burrows into them, discovering their secrets before he finds contrasting ideas or develops new themes to explore: "It's just like life — life is a mystery."
There's mystery in the way this trio plays "Flashback," in the ambiguity of rhythm, despite the density of the bass and percussion movement, and there's the sometimes breathtaking beauty of Fred's lines. What a lovely unaccompanied tenor opening to "Ode to Tip," and what sensitive playing together by Fred and Bankhead here. "By Many Names" takes off from a Bankhead bass line, and the
unusual sound you hear is Drake's frame drum; he is also the singer, and hear the spacing and the warm cadences of Fred's phrasing. The longest work, the lowdown, bluesy "Timeless," changes tempos and moods, includes central out-of-tempo passages centered on the bass, and features Fred riffing and recalling old, familiar phrases ("I think that's the reason I called it 'Timeless'") — especially in later sections, hear Drake's excitement.
The old Velvet Lounge, which has been the central spot in a long, happy era in Chicago jazz, will probably vanish under the wrecker's ball by the time you hear this album. By then it will be spring, and as the turning earth is reawakening, the new Velvet Lounge will be opening on Cermak Road, a block away, and a new era in Chicago jazz will begin. Again, Fred Anderson, already a veteran of a half century in jazz, is going to be the generous and generously creative father to another new era. Timeless, indeed, and much more than timeless.
— John Litweiler

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