On Thursday night Millennium Park’s Pritzker Pavilion hosts a free celebration of great Chicago tenor saxophonist Fred Anderson. The legendary proprietor of the Velvet Lounge won’t actually be playing, but the focus of the show—part of a series of events marking his 80th birthday—will be on Anderson’s tunes, which are inextricably linked to his singular improvisatory style. The songs, several in new arrangements, will be performed by the AACM’s Great Black Music Ensemble and a handful of special guests: trombonist George Lewis, reedists Greg Ward, Francis Wong, and Ed Wilkerson Jr., and cellist Tomeka Reid. It’s nice to see a venerable artist and composer like Anderson saluted while he’s still alive.
Wednesday from noon to 1:30 PM the Chicago Cultural Center’s Claudia Cassidy Theater presents a free panel discussion called Celebrating a Jazz Hero: A Symposium on the Role of Fred Anderson in Chicago’s Jazz Legacy. Lewis, a Columbia University professor who published an essential book on the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians last year, will moderate the talk, which also includes bassist and scholar Paul Steinbeck and bassist and professor Tatsu Aoki, both disciples of Anderson’s.
Wilkinson, Edwards, and Noble, Live at Cafe Oto (Bo’ Weavil)
Virginia Rodrigues, Recomeço (Biscoito Fino)
Carlos Giffoni, Adult Life (No Fun)
Zu, Carboniferous (Ipecac)
Oren Ambarchi, Mort aux Vaches (Staalplaat)