The Velvet Lounge is still a great place for jazz

Fred Anderson
Image by Seth Tisue via Flickr

The legendary Velvet Lounge in Chicago is still kicking.

When the Velvet Lounge opened two-and-a-half years ago in a new location—on East Cermak Road—some listeners wondered whether the place would survive for very long.

Certainly the newly built, freshly painted room wouldn’t carry quite the mystique of the charmingly dilapidated old venue on South Indiana Avenue. Nor could Velvet owner and tenor saxophone master Fred Anderson be sure that audiences would follow him to the new spot, even if it was just a couple of blocks away from the old one.

Yet as 2009 begins, the rejuvenated Velvet Lounge remains integral to new music in Chicago, and not only when Anderson takes the stage to unfurl his characteristically magisterial lines. Several nights a week, jazz masters and emerging artists, Chicago icons and visiting virtuosos make the Velvet ground zero for avant-garde jazz in Chicago.

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Umbrella Music Through December 28

Fred Anderson in 2005; Photo by Seth Tisue
Image via Wikipedia

From Chicago’s Umbrella Music:

Wednesday, 17 December 2008
The Hideout
10:00PM | DKV Trio
Ken Vandermark – reeds
Kent Kessler – bass
Hamid Drake – drums
11:00PM | DKV Trio with Fred Anderson
Ken Vandermark – reeds
Kent Kessler – bass
Hamid Drake – drums
with special guest
Fred Anderson – tenor saxophone
$12 cover
PLUS | DJ Sets: DJ Wristless spins Humblecamp

Thursday, 18 December 2008
10:00PM | Branch/Rempis/Kessler/Hunt
Jaimie Branch – trumpet
Dave Rempis – saxophones
Kent Kessler – bass
Steve Hunt – drums
two sets

Sunday, 21 December 2008
The Hungry Brain
10:00PM | MacKay/Ward/Golombisky/Kirchner
Bill MacKay – guitar
Greg Ward – alto saxophone
Matt Golombisky – bass
Quin Kirchner – drums
11:00PM | TBA

Sunday, 28 December 2008
The Hungry Brain
10:00PM | Rempis Percussion Quartet
Dave Rempis – saxophones
Tim Daisy – drums
Frank Rosaly – drums
Anton Hatwich – bass
two sets

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Fred Anderson Quartet Volume 3

Fred Anderson has a new release.

At 79 years old, AACM founder Fred Anderson continues his creative output as he celebrates the release of The Fred Anderson Quartet Live at the Velvet Lounge Volume 3 on at the Velvet Lounge in Chicago on Friday, December 5th and Saturday, December 6th. This is the long awaited release in a series that began ten years ago with Volume 1. For this recording and this gig, Fred Anderson Quartet features Fred Anderson (tenor sax), Francis Wong (saxes/flutes from San FranciTatsu Aokiu Aoki shamisenamisen), Chad Taylor (drums/percussion from NYC).

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