Chris Anderson & Charlie Haden: None But The Lonely Heart
A Chicago native reared on the blues and the music of Nat King Cole, Art Tatum, and Duke Ellington, Anderson years ago developed a rich harmonic sensibility influenced by European classical composers like Ravel and Debussy. His playing remains moody, quiet, and impressionistic, built on chordal improvisation rather than speedy right-hand runs, yet he never strays too far from his blues roots.
The album's song selection leans towards familiar ballad chestnuts like "Alone Together," "It Never Entered My Mind," and "Body and Soul." Anderson takes his time with these old tunes, focusing on tonality and harmony, to reveal all their melancholy spirit and beauty. And on the album's final two cuts, an original blues and a stirring take on the old Billie Holiday standard "Good Morning Heartache," he shows that for all his harmonic sophistication he can still get down with some old-fashioned barrelhouse blues piano.
Haden's accompaniment is sympathetic, never obtrusive, and always right on the money. Clearly this is a bassist who listens and who knows that less is often more. But Anderson is the star here, and one deserving the respect and admiration of every jazz fan.
Record Label: Naim Label