Details are very sketchy, but veteran reedist and bandleader Douglas Ewart confirms that brilliant and influential Chicago saxophonist Fred Anderson, 81, suffered a serious heart attack yesterday. He’s currently in a coma in the intensive care unit at Saint Francis Hospital in Evanston. I’ll provide updates here as more information becomes available.
UPDATE: I just spoke with Dan Melnick, programs manager for the Jazz Institute of Chicago, who spent much of today at Saint Francis Hospital. A few things in my post were inaccurate: Anderson went to the hospital on his own yesterday, complaining of pneumonia-like symptoms. He didn’t actually suffer his heart attack until this morning, while on his way to have X-rays taken. While he was very lucky to be in a hospital when he was hit with cardiac arrest, he’s in a drug-induced coma and listed in stable but critical condition. More details as they arrive.