Friday, July 28, 2006

Fred Anderson isn't sitting still

Posted By on 07.28.06 at 06:59 PM

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As I mentioned yesterday, Chicago tenor saxophone great Fred Anderson is gearing up for the reopening of his jazz club, the Velvet Lounge. But that doesn’t mean his horn is gathering dust. Last night he joined an excellent trio from Boston at Elastic, and he sounded as good as ever. The trio, led by pianist Steven Lantner (pictured), was forced to operate a bit outside of its usual orbit. The music was a kind of harmonically complex postbop informed by both by the masterful composer and neglected improviser Herbie Nichols and obscure Boston abstractionist Lowell Davidson, juiced with hearty swing rhythms. For much of the night Lantner was forced to comp for Anderson, laying down dark chords for the master reedist to extrapolate over, but when the saxophonist laid out the pianist delivered an astonishing torrent of tricky pianism that recalled the early work of Cecil Taylor, stoked by the rhythm section of bassist Joe Morris and drummer Luther Gray. After the first set Dave Rempis, who organizes the Thursday night jazz series at Elastic, mentioned that a new club was opening on Friday night--the Velvet--to enthusiastic applause.

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