Timeless: Live at the Velvet Lounge
Its 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 theres a light on inside, and warmth -- a wonderful artist, Fred Anderson, is here practicing his tenor sax, as he does here every day. Hes a generous, soft-spoken man who owns the Velvet Lounge and who is also probably the most rewarding of all of todays fine free/underground/outside tenorists, in America and around the world.
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 discography is steadily growing.) In 2005 he was guest of honor at the Vision Festival in New York City, this countrys leading exploratory-music annual event.
The old Velvet Lounge, which has been the central spot in a long, happy era in Chicago jazz, will probably vanish under the wreckers 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.
Complete notes by John Litweiler enclosed.
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