Alternative Press - 12/01, p.748 out of 10
- "...Musically free but never overpowering, muscular but still beautiful."
The Wire - 8/01, p.51
"...Captures the inventive urgency of Anderson's blowing....there's no padding, no filler, but lots of unexpected detours that, once executed, sound like the only viable choice..."
CMJ - 6/11/01, p.23
"...Nothing short of spectacular...One can hear and feel the blues in every note and beat of this duo's soulfully adventurous music."
Down Beat - 10/01, p.643.5 stars out of 5
- "...A rare encounter....Barry is steady and precise...creating patterns and setting the pace....Anderson responds with a big, effusive tone and bluesy melodies..."
Personnel: Fred Anderson (tenor saxophone); Robert Barry (drums).
Recorded at the Empty Bottle, Chicago, Illinois on May 22, 1999.
Includes liner notes by Robert Barry and Fred Anderson.
Audio Mixer: John McCortney.
Recording information: 05/22/1999.
No doubt, Chicago, IL-based tenor sax titan Fred Anderson is one of modern jazz's preeminent improvisers as he joins forces with ex-Sun Ra Arkestra drummer Robert Barry for this wonderfully recorded and altogether electrifying live session. Essentially, Duets 2001 is a rousing success, as the duo embarks upon a series of mid-tempo swing vamps atop free bop-style dialogue and brisk interplay, thanks to Anderson's corpulent tone, limberly executed lines, and Barry's polyrhythmic swing beats. With this release, Anderson exhibits his razor-sharp improvisational tactics along with a penchant for intertwining soul-drenched mini-themes with scathing lines. Here, the musicians maintain an elevated degree of excitement amid subtle diversions and sinuous undercurrents. Simply put, Duets 2001 is a tour de force, yet it all sounds so unaffected. Recommended. ~ Glenn Astarita