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Chris Anderson: Solo Ballads

New York-based pianist Chris Anderson is willing to take chances with the most beloved compositions of Ellington and Strayhorn. The longtime Chicago musician sometimes even tests listeners to locate the lead line. His harmonic choices are daringly complex on “Sophisticated Lady,” “I Got It Bad,” “In a Sentimental Mood” and “Lush Life.” His contemplative pauses and minor moves convey thoughtful beauty. Anderson has been performing his distinctly different piano sound for more than 40 years. I’m a new fan and in strong accord with pianist Barry Harris, who writes in the liner notes, “I love him. So now, you listen!”

Originally Published