Fred Anderson Timeless: Live at the Velvet Lounge

Fred Anderson has been a Chicago fixture since the ’60s, being in on the ground floor of seminal American music collective the AACM, performing and recording with some of the more famous giants of free jazz, and running his own bar for decades. This DVD documents a performance that witnesses the transition of the Velvet Lounge (Fred's bar) into the realm of the wrecking ball and a reunion with Fred's long-time musical compatriots — drummer Hamid Drake and bassist Harrison Bankhead. The DVD is shot strictly as a concert video and features a "you are there” perspective, which is pulled off with respect and honesty. It’s an amazing audio recording, as the crackles of Drake’s drums stay in perfect balance with Fred’s soaring tenor and Bankhead’s bass, which set my speakers rumbling happily. The performance is a testament to the skill, spirit and incredible empathy these musicians have for the music and each other. Great concert, great sound and a great interview with Fred is also included. (Delmark, www.delmark.com)