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For a variety of reasons I’m unlikely to be able to post much for the rest of the month. In the meantime, I thought I’d simply flag up a few things that you might have missed over the last few weeks.

Press Round-up

There have been some jazz interviews and other articles in the Herald:

  • An interview with Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year, saxophonist John Fleming. I hadn’t realised that he’s baritone player Bill Fleming’s brother.
  • Carol Kidd and David Newton talking about supporting Frank Sinatra when he played Glasgow in 1990.
  • A Wynton Marsalis interview.
  • An interview with Mose Allison
  • A review of Robin D G Kelley’s biography of Thelonious Monk. The book has been getting consistently excellent write-ups, of which this is one. If you think the current price is a bit high, even with some of the online discounts which are available, there’s apparently a paperback edition due out towards the end of the year. You know what you can get me for Christmas.

The Scotsman had a Stan Tracey interview.

Fred Anderson R.I.P

Last month saw the death at the age of 81 of the Chicago saxophonist and club owner Fred Anderson, a key figure on the American free jazz scene. One of the early members of the AACM, he chose to stay in Chicago while contemporaries like the Art Ensemble of Chicago and Anthony Braxton moved away to find what passes for fame and fortune in the jazz world. Anderson was involved in running several venues, eventually ending up owning a club called The Velvet Lounge, which became one of the main venues for avant-garde jazz in the city. As one of his colleagues put it, “a lot of musicians, if they couldn’t play there, they might not play at all.” But like Ronnie Scott in London, his success as a club owner shouldn’t overshadow the fact that he was a very fine player.

The best obituary I’ve seen of him is the one in the Chicago Tribune, although he got a fairly full tribute in the Guardian too.

Sadly, the Chicago Tribune is suggesting that his passing has also put the future of the Velvet Lounge at risk.

Anderson has an odd discography, in that he recorded a bit in the 60s, then released little or nothing until the 1990s. But there’s plenty of him on YouTube. Here he is with one of his regular partners, drummer Hamid Drake, and bass player Jaribu Shahid.