Birdhouseby Fred Anderson Quartet
Named for his Chicago jazz club which closed in the late '70s, Birdhouse finds tenor sax great Fred Anderson leading his quartet through four originals that cover a spectrum of moods. It opens with the casual (and tasteful) burner "Birdhouse," an 18-minute number that places drummer Hamid Drake and bassist Harrison Bankhead in the role of often-swinging rhythm section while pianist Jim Baker backs up Anderson's playing with occasional, parallel solos and, 10 minutes in, takes a nice solo that leaves plenty of room in which to stretch out. A few minutes later, Baker also steps back, letting Bankhead step in with an interesting solo of his own. Finally, he too drops out of the mix, leaving Drake the responsibility of keeping both time and melodies going during his hot drum solo. The whole group then jumps in again and neatly ties up the entire piece in the remaining minute. Next comes "Bernice," a drawn-out, slow wailer, beautifully played. Next, the group lets loose with rocketing intensity on "Like Sonny," dedicated to bop saxophonist Sonny Stitt. The closing number is a hot Anderson-Drake improvisation, "Waiting for MC," which was recorded while the two awaited the arrival of pianist Marilyn Crispell for a rehearsal of what would become Okkadisk's 1995 release, Destiny.
- Release Date:
- Okka Disc
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