Tenor saxophonist Fred Anderson has long been a fixture on Chicago's cutting-edge jazz scene, and a founding member of that city's hugely influential Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. Anderson is a rarity - though he absorbed the advances of Ornette Coleman and Albert Ayler, he's always been firmly grounded in the mainstream blues-rich sounds of Coleman Hawkins, Sonny Rollins and especially Gene Ammons. Anderson doesn't have many recordings, and that makes this album doubly valuable. Recorded live in 1980 but previously unreleased 'til this year, this stark but well-recorded set has Anderson and company stretching out on five lengthy pieces, which balance wild yet focused improvisation with engaging rhythmic and melodic ideas. Highlights are the pensive, Indian-tinged "Bombay" and the punchy, Rollins-esque "Planet E." On the former, drummer Hamid Drake plays a mesmerizing tabla. On the later, trumpeter Billy Brimfield shines, his solo combining the bristling crackle of Freddie Hubbard and the questing, wide-open quality of Don Cherry. The hearty tenor of Fred Anderson swings and shouts mightily throughout. To anyone who finds a lot of "contemporary" avant/free-type stuff bloodless and doodle-y, highly recommended; to fans of deep-dish Chicago-style modern jazz, essential!