Fred Anderson Quartet | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Fred Anderson Quartet 

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FRED ANDERSON QUARTET

North-side appearances by Chicago tenor-sax legend Fred Anderson are few and far between, and any opportunity to catch him playing someplace besides his Velvet Lounge shouldn't be squandered. But this upcoming gig should be particularly special: Anderson will lead a quartet featuring regular collaborators Kent Kessler on bass and Hamid Drake on drums, but filling the spot usually occupied by pianist Jim Baker will be saxophonist Ken Vandermark. The potential for furious tenor battling is tantalizing enough, but this concert also promises to focus on Anderson's compositions, which recall the slow, bubbling intensity of Ornette Coleman's darkest tunes--simple, open-ended, eloquent expressions of sadness. The typical Fred Anderson set doesn't include more than a handful of tunes; his lengthy, brawny improvisations build slowly and logically, taking the time to explore every nuance and angle. In order to showcase more of his tunes, the quintet will be limiting the time spent improvising, but the trade-off should be worth it. Wednesday, 9 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600.

PETER MARGASAK

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/ Mark PoKemper.

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