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Chris Anderson (February 26, 1926 – February 4, 2008) was an American jazz pianist, who might be best known as an influence on Herbie Hancock.[1]

Chris Anderson
Born(1926-02-26)February 26, 1926
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
DiedFebruary 4, 2008(2008-02-04) (aged 81)
Manhattan, New York
Years active1945–2000
Associated actsHerbie Hancock, Charlie Haden, Dinah Washington



Born in Chicago and self-taught, Anderson began playing in Chicago clubs in the mid-1940s and played with Von Freeman and Charlie Parker, among others.[2] Hired as Dinah Washington's accompanist, Anderson's tenure with Washington was brief. Washington, who changed accompanists frequently, fired Anderson in New York six weeks after hiring him, and Anderson decided to stay in the city.

In 1960 he recorded what might be his best regarded album My Romance (VeeJay, 1960) with bassist Bill Lee and drummer Art Taylor. His student Herbie Hancock praised him highly, saying: "After hearing him play just once, I begged him to let me study with him."[1]

Despite the respect of his peers, Anderson had difficulty finding work or popular acclaim due in large to his disabilities. He was blind and his bones were unusually fragile, causing numerous fractures, which at times compromised his ability to perform at the times or places requested,[3] although he continued to record until he was well into his 70s. A Down Beat profile indicated he had "Osteogenesis", probably meaning osteogenesis imperfecta.[4]

He died February 4, 2008 in Manhattan, New York City.


As leader/co-leaderEdit

Year recorded Title Label Personnel/Notes
1960 My Romance Vee-Jay Trio, with Bill Lee (bass), Art Taylor (drums)
1961 Inverted Image Jazzland Most tracks trio, with Bill Lee (bass), Walter Perkins (drums); some tracks trio with Lee (bass), Philly Joe Jones (drums)
1987 Love Locked Out Mapleshade Solo piano; Anderson also sings on two tracks
1991 Blues One DIW Trio, with Ray Drummond (bass), Billy Higgins (drums)
1994 Live at Bradley's Alsut Some tracks solo piano; some tracks trio, with Ray Drummond (bass), Frank Gant; one track trio, with Drummond (bass), Billy Higgins (drums); in concert
1996 Solo Ballads Alsut Solo piano
1997 None but the Lonely Heart Naim Duo, with Charlie Haden (bass)
1998 You Don't Know What Love Is Naim Quartet, with Sabina Sciubba (vocals), David Williams (bass), Billy Higgins (drums)
1998 From the Heart Naim Solo piano
2001 Solo Ballads Two Alsut Solo piano

As sidemanEdit

With Clifford Jordan

With Charlie Parker

  • An Evening at Home with the Bird (Savoy, 1950 [1961])

With Sun Ra

  • Sun Ra Sextet at the Village Vanguard (Rounder, 1991 [1993])

With Frank Strozier


  1. ^ a b "The Last Post" Obituary at
  2. ^ Cook, Richard (2005). Richard Cook's Jazz Encyclopedia. London: Penguin Books. pp. 13–14. ISBN 0-141-00646-3.
  3. ^ John S. Wilson, "Pop Jazz", The New York Times, September 24, 1982.
  4. ^ "Not close to lonely" from Down Beat via highbeam

External linksEdit