(born February 26, 1926 in Chicago; died February 4, 2008 in Manhattan, NYC) was a jazz pianist
who might be best known as an influence on Herbie Hancock
Self-taught, he began in Chicago
clubs in the mid-1940s and played with Von Freeman
and Charlie Parker
, among others. Hired as Dinah Washington
's accompanist, like other arrangers before him, he didn't last long with the cantankerous singer; fired in New York six weeks later, he stayed there.
In 1960 he recorded what might be his best regarded album with bassist Bill Lee
and drummer Art Taylor
. His student Herbie Hancock
praised him highly saying that, "After hearing him play just once, I begged him to let me study with him."
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, <!-- I couldn't find out if he has Osteogenesis Imperfecta or what --> which at times compromised his ability to perform at the times or places requested although he continued to record until he was well into his 70s.