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Fred Anderson’s career has already spanned three decades, but over the last couple of years it’s shifted into high gear. In the 60s he was a charter member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, and since then he’s divided his time between making a living and honing his very personal approach to the tenor saxophone. A melodic craftsman with a gift for beautiful lines and a deeply moving harmonic sensibility, Anderson has a tone by turns gruff and radiant, with the confidence of age and the searching quality of youth. At 66 he’s now busy carving a niche for himself in jazz history. Last year he released Vintage Duets (Okka Disk), a wonderful encounter with the late drummer Steve McCall recorded in 1980 but never before issued. His sensational appearance with pianist Marilyn Crispell and percussionist Hamid Drake at the Women of the New Jazz Fest at HotHouse resulted in Destiny (Okka Disk), and he brought a larger, absolutely knockout ensemble to last year’s Chicago Jazz Festival. Back from further successes at this year’s Vancouver Jazz Festival, Anderson will perform here in a special trio with the topflight percussion duo of Drake and Michael Zerang, known for their semiannual solstice celebrations. Whether on traps–where Drake is perhaps the city’s most exciting player–or on earthy hand percussion like Zerang’s deadly dumbek, they make a devastating rhythmic team and should create a fabulous net in which to catch this legendary tenorman mid-flight. Saturday, 9 PM, HotHouse, 1565 N. Milwaukee; 235-2334.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Marty Perez.