Fred Anderson

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4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Fred Anderson
LABELS: Delmark
WORKS: Timeless
PERFORMER: Fred Anderson (saxophone), Harrison Bankhead (bass), Hamid Drake (drums)
Fred Anderson is one of the godfathers of Chicago’s post-bop jazz community, playing his own variations on a hard-bop dialect. With Drake, one of the great American musicians in that idiom, pushing and propelling him through this magisterial set, he sounds little short of titanic. The saxophonist has a way of playing melodies that seem to speak of the blues and a more abstract language at one and the same moment, and he can wrestle with a melodic idea until its every implication has been worked over and laid before the listener. The record consists of four bruising trio tracks, but despite their length – the final piece, appositely named ‘Timeless’, runs for almost 24 minutes – the group’s creativity and inventiveness are glorious and unstinting. Richard Cook