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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Fred Anderson dies at the age of 81

Fred Anderson, the father and the heart of Chicago's free jazz scene, died at the age of 81 from a heart attack.

Anderson is one of my favorite musicians, as regular readers will know. He was an avant-garde player, yet his playing was always full of deepfelt soul, full of blues, and funk at times, rhythmic in his phrasing, emotional and spiritual.

Fred Anderson was one of the founders of the Association for the Advancement Of Creative Musicians (AACM) in Chicago.

He was one of the most important figures of the Chicago free jazz scene, with his own club, The Velvet Lounge, where he mostly played and recorded.

You can find his biography on allmusic.

Here is his discography
  • 1967 Joseph Jarman, Song For (Delmark Records DS-410); also on CD (Delmark Records DD-410).
  • 1968 Joseph Jarman, As If It Were the Seasons (Delmark Records DS-714); also on CD (Delmark Records DD-417).
  • 1977 Neighbours, Accents (EMI-Electrola 06632854).
  • 1978 Fred Anderson Quintet, Another Place (Moers Music 01058).
  • 1979 Fred Anderson Quartet, Dark Day (Message Records 0004).
  • 1984 Fred Anderson, The Missing Link (Nessa Records N-23); also on CD (Nessa Records NCD-23).
  • 1994 Fred Anderson and Steve McCall, Vintage Duets (Okka Disk OD12001).
  • 1995 Fred Anderson Quartet, Birdhouse (Okka Disk OD12007).
  • 1996 Fred Anderson, Marilyn Crispell, and Hamid Drake, Destiny (Okka Disk OD12003).
  • 1997 Fred Anderson/DKV Trio, Fred Anderson/DKV Trio (Okka Disk OD12014).
  • 1997 Fred Anderson, Fred: Chicago Chamber Music (Southport Records S-SSD 0043).
  • 1999 Fred Anderson Trio, Live at the Velvet Lounge (Okka Disk OD12023).
  • 1999 Fred Anderson Quartet, Volume One (Asian Improv Records AIR 0049).
  • 2000 Fred Anderson Quartet, The Milwaukee Tapes Vol. 1 (Atavistic UMS/ALP 204CD).
  • 2000 Fred Anderson, Hamid Drake, “Kidd” Jordan, and William Parker, 2 Days in April (Eremite Records MTE023/024).
  • 2000 Fred Anderson Quartet, Volume Two (Asian Improv Records AIR 0054).
  • 2001 Fred Anderson Quartet, Dark Day + Live in Verona (Atavistic UMS/ALP 218CD).
  • 2001 Robert Barry and Fred Anderson, Duets 2001 (Thrill Jockey THRILL 101)
  • 2001 Fred Anderson, On the Run: Live at the Velvet Lounge (Delmark Records DG-534).
  • 2003 Fred Anderson, Back at the Velvet Lounge (Delmark Records DG-549).
  • 2004 Fred Anderson and Hamid Drake, Back Together Again (Thrill Jockey THRILL 139); with companion video CD.
  • 2005 Fred Anderson, Hamid Drake, and William Parker, Blue Winter (Eremite Records MTE047/048).
  • 2006 Fred Anderson, Harrison Bankhead, and Hamid Drake, Timeless: Live at the Velvet Lounge (Delmark Records DE-568); also on DVD (Delmark DE-1568).
  • 2007 Fred Anderson and Hamid Drake, From the River to the Ocean (Thrill Jockey THRILL 183).
  • 2007 Fred Anderson and Harrison Bankhead, The Great Vision Concert (Ayler Records aylCD-052).
  • 2007 Irene Schweizer, Fred Anderson, and Hamid Drake, Willisau & Taktlos (Intakt Records INTAKT CD 104).
  • 2007 Territory Band 6 with Fred Anderson, Collide (Okka Disk OD12090).
  • 2008 Fred Anderson Quartet, Volume Three (Asian Improv Records AIR 0074).
  • 2008 Matana Roberts, The Chicago Project (Central Control International 6).
  • 2009 Fred Anderson Trio, Birthday Live 2000 (Asian Improv Records AIR 0075).
  • 2009 Fred Anderson Trio, A Night at the Velvet Lounge: Made in Chicago 2007 (Estrada Poznańska MIC01).
  • 2009 Fred Anderson, Staying in the Game (Engine Studios e029).
  • 2009 Fred Anderson, 21st Century Chase: 80th Birthday Bash, Live at the Velvet Lounge (Delmark Records DE-589); also on DVD (Delmark DE-1589).
  • 2010 Fred Anderson, Black Horn Long Gone (Southport Records S-SSD 0128).
  • no date Art Ensemble of Chicago with Fred Anderson, Peace Be Unto You: Live in Seattle (AECO 0013LE).
He recorded a lot, and last year several albums and a DVD were released to celebrate his 80th birthday.

My favorite albums are "Blue Winter", with William Parker and Hamid Drake, and "The Milwaukee Tapes, Vol. 1", but most of his albums are easy to recommend. His style of playing is quite his own, very recognizable and often within the same stylistic range. The second video below gives a nice example of this. So deep, so real, so much him.

We will miss him and his music.

Thank you, Fred.

Watch a nice trio performance in Le Mans, with Jaribu Shahid and Hamid Drake.

© stef


best jazz said...

jazz has lost another legend.

Anonymous said...

what a loss for the jazz world..

Anonymous said...

When I first started listening to free jazz, Fred Andersson was one of the first artists that caught my ear.

Remember and listen to his music....


Unknown said...

It's a terrible tragedy that Fred Anderson has passed away. You can help remember him by contributing to his memorial website at