Biography | Tour Dates | Reviews

CD022: The story behind None But The Lonely Heart is as striking as the music itself. Pianist Chris Anderson, born in Chicago in 1926, has played with the likes of Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins and Sonny Stitt, despite the twin afflictions of blindness and a brittle bone condition, so how is it that he is a completely new name to me? My ignorance seems to be shared by all British jazz reference books and, until this session, by recording engineer Ken Christianson. However, double bass supremo Charlie Haden has known and loved his playing for 40 years: hence this recording. Influences on Anderson range from Chicago Blues to Debussy and Ravel - who are recalled in the unexpected harmonies and beautiful voicings of soulful standards like The Night We Called It A Day and It Never Entered My Head. The title song does not appear in its own right, but emerges as a dramatic final statement on Nobody's Heart. The blues element surfaces on CC Blues, with a hint of Art Hodes The Jazz Rag May/June 1998

CD022: A pianist in his seventies, admired by insiders but little known to the public outside his native Chicago, Chris Anderson gnaws at the harmonic contours of a tune rather like a less abrasive Thelonious Monk. If he doesn't have Barrons's polish, his deceptively diffident approach to familiar songs forces Haden to look at them afresh. Common to both albums. for instance, is Body And Soul: supremely lyrical in the Haden-Barron version; unpredictable and vaguely disquieting in the other. Ronald Atkins, The Guardian Friday April 24th 1998.

CD022: Pianist Chris Anderson is lauded on the sleeve of this duo album as one of the great unsung heroes of jazz - he tutored Herbie Hancock, toured with Dinah Washington, but his blindness and ill health militated against wider public acceptance and his subtle, understated grace is everywhere in evidence on this recording, made at New York's Cami Hall in July 1997. His is an open- eared, chord-based technique, rather than one relying on sparkling single-note runs, and the routes he plots through such classics as "Good Morning Heartache", "It Never Entered My Mind" and even "Body and Soul" will delight anyone excited by harmonic adventurousness. Haden has a great ear for pianistic virtuosity - witness his championing of Gonzalo Rubalcaba - and plays bass with his customary elegance throughout this intriguing album. CP, JAZZWISE April 1998

CD022:  "This is the best recording of the acoustic bass I have ever heard" Dirk Sommer - Image Hi-Fi Germany

CD022: "Charlie's album with Pat Metheny, " Under Missouri Skies" was a joy, and so this CD is in an honourable and successful are two musical explorers both curious and brave" David Freeman, Jazz FM

CD035:  Chris Anderson grew up in Chicago and by the late 1940s was playing with some of the greatest names in jazz, including Sonny Rollins, Clifford Brown and Charlie Parker. Like many other players of his generation he would have been a 'house pianist' with a rhythm section that would accompany soloists who happened to be in town. The 'Great American Songbook' was the standard fare of all these musicians and Anderson would have had to play Here's That Rainy Day and Just Friends, to name two of the more popular standards presented here literally hundreds of times. So, in his seventy-second year he brings a wealth of experience to these songs whose harmonies and melodic lines have fuelled his own improvisations. However, his somewhat Monk-like angular approach will not be to everybody's taste and if after reading the sleeve notes you expect to hear a Nat King Cole clone, then prepare to be shocked. For example, Here's That Rainy Day is disjointed and sounds as though Anderson is struggling to invest an old favourite with new meaning while Just Friends is almost unrecognisable. With In Love In Vain we hear Anderson's fragile voice being accompanied in a more Cole-like fashion, and despite the roughness there is an underlying vulnerability about the performance that is really quite moving. Yet this is a disc that needs time to appreciate and only after a number of repeated listenings will its riches bear fruit to those who are prepared to receive this music without preconceived ideas about what jazz music actually is. Pianist Oct/Nov 2002

CD030: On the recording front, the latest release by the British label Naim featuring the pianist Chris Anderson deserves special attention. Teamed with the highly individual singer Sabina Sciubba and the peerless rhythm section of David Williams and Billy Higgins, Anderson gives the standards collected on You Don't Know What Love Is a whole new lease of life. Roger Trapp, Independent January 1999

CD030: "Always expect the unexpected" is not a bad motto when reviewing jazz CDs, but this time I forgot it. Told by telephone of a CD with Sabina Sciubba and Chris Anderson, I presume it must be some other Chris Anderson. But, no, Naim has brought together the German/Italian singer heard last year with Antonio Forcione in an eclectic Latin-tinged selection and the 70-plus blind New York pianist who duetted with Charlie Haden on another Naim 1998 release. The third element in this unlikely combination is a selection of fine, unhackneyed standards like My Romance and The Gypsy. One of the skills of the producer/promoter lies in bringing together disparate, but compatible, talents - and somebody at Naim has it in spades. Sabina Sciubba's insouciant re-phrasing of Polka Dots And Moonbeams (witty scatting there, too) or cooly mischievous Ain't Misbehavin' is enough to make me forget the odd moment of overly soulful emoting elsewhere and, for perfect control, listen to her entry on Jerome Moross's Lazy Afternoon. Chris Anderson mixes attentive accompanist with expansive soloist, most distinctive in rhapsodic mood, as in his extended exploration of Too Late Now. The excellent accompaniment is by David Williams and Billy Higgins. Ron Simpson, The Jazz Rag March April 1999

CD030: Sciubba's previous release featured material of her own composition, but here the young vocalist teams up with veteran pianist Chris Anderson, David Williams on bass and Billy Higgins on drums in a studio set of standards. She and Anderson work hard at injecting freshness into their interpretations of this (over) familiar material- "The More I See You", "How Long Has This Been Going On", "Ain't Misbehavin"', etc., though some may find that the pianist's idiosyncratic reharmonisations and spare, skittering style are acquired tastes in this context. Nevertheless, Sciubba's tone IS warm, expressive and involving and she is an assured performer, tackling the songs sympathetically and with confidence. Jazzwise March 1999