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Fred Anderson


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Tenor saxophonist extraordinare, Fred Anderson was born in Monroe, Louisiana in 1929. In 1940, Fred migrated to Evanston, Illinois, and also lived for a time in Gary, Indiana. Making a living waiting tables, and installing carpet, Fred Anderson honed his skills on tenor. He cites his primary musical influence as Charlie Parker because of Bird’s profound knowledge of the saxophone.

In the early 1960’s, Fred came in contact with more and more members of the soon-to-be-formed AACM. In 1964, he performed on what many to consider to be the first AACM concert which featured Fred, Billy Brimfield (trumpet), Joseph Jarman (woodwinds), Arthur Reed (drums), Charles Clark (bass). The first formal meetings of the AACM occured in mid-year of 1965, and Fred was an early member. Fred recalls, “I was at one of the earlier meetings. I think it was the first or second meeting. We sat down and talked about it. They drew up this charter, a not-for-profit charter, a nonprofit charter. That’s how it began. Muhal already had that Experimental Band. The idea was to be able to approach the music in a different way, to write your own music”.

Through his years of performing, Fred has participated in, and lead, many unique and creative ensembles.


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