Fred Anderson was born on March 22, 1929 in Monroe, Louisiana and learned to play the saxophone by himself when he was a teenager. Moving with his family to Evanston, Illinois in the 1940s he studied music formally at the Roy Knapp Conservatory in Chicago, Illinois and had a private teacher for a short time.
He was one of the founders of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) and an important member of the musical collective. In the early 1960s Fred formed his own group and performed his original compositions with drummer Vernon Thomas, bassist Bill Fletcher, and his partner for many years, trumpeter Billy Brimfield.
During this period he recorded several notable avant garde albums as a sideman with saxophonist Joseph Jarman, As If It Were the Seasons and Song For which included one of his composition Little Fox Run. By 1972 he put together the Fred Anderson Sextet, with trombonist George Lewis, reedist Douglas Ewart, bassist Felix Blackman, drummer Hamid Drake and Iqua Colson on vocals. Throughout the Seventies he toured Europe, recorded in Austria, and recorded his first record as leader, Another Place in Germany.
He opened the short-lived performance-workshop space Birdhouse in honor of Charlie Parker, and in 1983 took over ownership of the Velvet Lounge in Chicago, which quickly became a center for the city’s jazz and experimental music scenes. The club expanded and relocated in the summer of 2006. Before that, his eclectic Beehive bar in west Chicago was a draw where musicians from around the world drank beer and played, mostly for each other.
Though remaining active as a performer, Anderson rarely recorded for about a decade beginning in the mid-1980s but by the Nineties he resumed a more active recording schedule, both as a solo artist, and as a collaborator with younger performers. He mentored a host of young musicians not limited to Hamid Drake, Harrison Bankhead, David Boykin, Nicole Mitchell, Justin Dillard, Aaron Getsug, Josh Abrams, Fred Jackson, Jr., George Lewis, Karl E. H. Seigfried, Isaiah Sharkey, and Isaiah Spencer.
Chicago avant-garde tenor saxophonist Fred Anderson, who was rooted in the swing and hard bop idioms but incorporated innovations from free jazz, passed away on June 24, 2010.
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Etienne Bouyer was born on March 18, 1982 in Saint-Denis on the island of Reunion and took violin lessons from age four to 11, opting to play the saxophone. In 1995 he played tenor saxophone in the big band of the Conservatoire d’Antibes and joined the Nice CNR in 1997, where he studied classical saxophone and contemporary music.
1999 saw Etienne gaining admittance to the Baccalauréat Général in Paris, France to study in the American School of Modern Music. For the next five years he studied saxophone, harmony, arrangement and composition, writing for big band and string quartet. Leading an active professional life while studying, he plays in numerous bands and orchestras of all styles including big band, salsa, gypsy and co-founded La Brocante, recording and performing in concert in France and Morocco.
In 2004 he joined the Didier Lockwood Music Center and where he studied with a host of musicians like André Villéger, Pierrick Pedron and Stéphane Guillaume among others. During this period Bouyer met many other musicians with whom he works regularly, taking part in the electro-jazz project Blözar and forming his quartet, the Etienne Bouyer Group with Pierre Antoine, Martin Berauer and Alexis Sébileau.
Following graduation he began teaching, studying privately in New York City with Dave Liebman and Sam Newsome, taking a week-long master class with Charlie Haden and began working with the Belgian violinist Cécile Broché, that led to recordings. He returned to Europe to study in Paris and Brussels, taking master classes with Bob Mintzer, François Jeanneau and creating the Collective Of Active Composing. Etienne has been a member of the Yuval Amihai Ensemble that won the Jazz Festival Tremplin in Saint-Germain-des-Prés.He has performed with Avishai Cohen, Rabih Abou-Khalil, Bojan Z, Kyle Eastwood and Manu Katché.
Tenor and soprano saxophonist Etienne Bouyer teaches at the Conservatory of Music and Dance of Châtenay-Malabry and the Conservatoire with Regional Radiation of Amiens Métropole. He currently Is the coordinator of the Jazz & Current Music Department at the Amiens Metropole Regional Conservatory and continues to perform, record and compose.
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Jan Garbarek was born March 4, 1947 in Mysen, Norway and grew up in Oslo, the only child of a former Polish prisoner of war and a Norwegian farmer’s daughter. He began his recording career in the late 1960s featured on recordings by jazz composer George Russell. Initially influenced by Albert Ayler and Peter Brötzmann, by 1973 he left avant-garde jazz, and gained wider recognition working with pianist Keith Jarrett’s European Quartet, recording on six Jarrett albums between 1974 and 1979.
As a composer, he draws from Scandinavian folk melodies and his Ayler influence, as well as being a pioneer of ambient jazz composition, exhibited on his Dis album with guitarist Ralph Towner. Jan has ventured into new-age music, set a collection of Olav H. Hauge poems to music, solo saxophone complemented a full mixed choir and incorporated synthesizers and elements of world music.
Garbarek has recorded more than two-dozen albums as a leader and another 45 to date as a sideman with Karin Krog, Terje Rypdal, George Russell, Art Lande, Ralph Towner, Bill Connors, David Darling, Keith Jarrett, Egberto Gismonti, Charlie Haden, Zakir Hussain, Trilok Gurtu, Manu Katché, Eleni Karaindrou, Kim Kashkashian, Marilyn Mazur, Gary Peacock, L. Shankar, Paul Giger, Giya Kancheli, Miroslav Vitous, Eberhard Weber and Kenny Wheeler
His album Officium, a collaboration with early music vocal performers the Hilliard Ensemble, became one of ECM’s biggest-selling albums of all time. Saxophonist Jan Garbarek, who received a Grammy nomination in 2005 for his album In Praise of Dreams, He is also active in classical and world music and continues to perform, record and tour.
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Blaise Siwula was born in Detroit, Michigan, on February 19, 1950 and grew up in a working/middle-class Black neighborhood. His next-door neighbor practiced saxophone in the afternoon and occasionally allowed him inside to watch him play. He began studying the alto saxophone at the age of 14, playing in the middle-school concert band. But, upon hearing John Coltrane’s Om in 1969, he was compelled to take the tenor saxophone and make it his voice.
He attended college on and off for an extended period from 1968-1980, studying theory and composition at Wayne State University and earning his B.F.A. degree. Siwula’s first personal encounters with jazz musicians came around 1971 with drummer Doc Watson, while both were living in a hotel near the downtown campus of Wayne State. Then the saxophonist got married, moved to San Francisco, California and started playing free improvised music in coffee houses and writing poetry.
Influenced by hearing Art Pepper in San Francisco, as well as Ornette Coleman, Sonny Stitt, Archie Shepp, Pharoah Sanders, Sun Ra, Blue Mitchell, Elvin Jones, and Miles Davis in memorable live performances around the Detroit area in the early ‘1970s. After spending four years in Northern California, Blaise moved back to Detroit, then headed for Europe in 1989, working and traveling as a street musician for three months, then returning to the States and settling in New York City.
Active on the metro New York improvisation scene, he worked with Amica Bunker, the Improvisers Collective, and the Citizens Ontological Music Agenda (COMA) series. During the decade of the 2000s, he concentrated his efforts as a spontaneous composer incorporating traditional musical scoring techniques with visual/graphic and performance-oriented presentations.
Over the course of his career he has played or collaborated with Doug Walker’s Alien Planetscapes, Cecil Taylor’s Ptonagas, William Hooker’s ensembles, Judy Dunaway’s Balloon Trio, Dialing Privileges with Dom Minasi and John Bollinger, Karen Borca, William Parker, Jeff Platz, Adam Lane, Wilber Morris, Vincent Chancey, Theo Jörgensmann, Rashid Bakr, Tatsuya Nakatani,, Jay Rosen, Sarah Weaver, Fala Mariam, Ernesto Rodrigues, Hilliard Greene, Joe McPhee, Ernesto Diaz-Infante, Maria De Alvear, Vattel Cherry, and Jeff Arnal, among others.
Avant-garde alto saxophonist Blaise Siwula also plays the clarinets, flutes, percussion and string instruments and continues to perform and record free jazz and curate.
William Parker was born January 10, 1952 in the Bronx, New York. He was not formally trained as a classical player, though he did study with Jimmy Garrison, Richard Davis, and Wilbur Ware and learned the tradition and is one of few jazz bassists who frequently plays arco.
Active on the free jazz scene since the early Seventies, Parker first came to public attention with pianist Cecil Taylor. The 1990s saw Parker’s prominence and public profile grow as an influential bassist in the New York City experimental jazz scene.
He has long been a member of saxophonist David S. Ware’s quartet, in Peter Brötzmann’s groups and has also played with various other groups that included Paul Murphy. He is a member of the cooperative Other Dimensions In Music and together with his wife, Patricia Nicholson Parker, organizes the annual Vision Festival in New York City.
His Sound Unity album has been listed in the Top 10o and his Double Sunrise over Neptune made the Top 10 album pick list by Amazon, and his Petit Oiseau has been chosen as one of the best jazz disks of 2008 by The Wall Street Journal, the BBC’s Radio Three, The Village Voice and PopMatters.
In 2006, Parker was awarded the Resounding Vision Award from Nameless Sound. His first book, Who Owns Music?, assembles his political thoughts, poems, and musicological essays In June 2011, while his second book, Conversations, is a collection of interviews with notable free jazz musicians and forward thinkers, mainly from the African-American community.
Free jazz bassist William Parker continues to record and perform regularly at music festivals around the world.
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