Tenor saxophonist extraordinare, Fred Anderson was born in Monroe, Louisiana. In 1940, Fred migrated to Evanston, Illinois, and also lived for a time in Gary, Indiana. Making a living waiting tables, and installing carpet, Fred Anderson ho nned his skills on tenor. He cites his primary musical influences as Charlie Parker because of Bird's profound knowledge of the saxophone.
In the early 1960's, Fred came in contact with more and more members of the soon-to-be-formed AACM. In 1964, he performed on what many to consider to be the first AACM concert which featured Fred, Billy Brimfield (trumpet), Joseph Jarman (woodwinds), Arth ur Reed (drums), Charles Clark (bass). The first formal meetings of the AACM occured in mid-year of 1965, and Fred was an early member. Fred recalls, I was at one of the earlier meetings. I think it was the first or second meeting. We sat down and talked about it. They drew up this charter, a not-for-profit charter, a nonprofit chater. That's how it began. Muha l already had that Experimental Band. The idea was to be able to approach the music in a different way, to write your own music.