Born in Chicago, IL (February 26, 1926), Chris Anderson was a jazz pianist, and an early musical influence on Herbie Hancock. In 1960, a young Hancock heard Chris Anderson play; he later said, "Chris' music has affected the core of my music very deeply. After hearing him play just once, I begged him to let me study with him. Chris Anderson is a master of harmony and sensitivity. I shall be forever indebted to him and his very special gift."
Anderson, had ‘fragile bone disease’ and visual impairment at birth, and was raised in a foster home. He loved music, and as a child he spent lots of time listening to tunes on the radio. With a natural ear for picking out melodies as well as harmonies, Anderson began teaching himself to play piano. Intuitively, he knew he was a musician.
Before finishing high school, Anderson was already performing jazz in local South Side bars, while holding down...