Jon Anderson is probably the most misunderstood – and, thus, underrated – artist ever. Perceived as a pixie-like progressive rock protagonist, the singer has much more layers to him than meets the eye, yet not ear. Beyond vast panoramas and cosmic pop of YES, he explored Celtic, Latin American and Toltec cultures, plugged into urban gloss on "In The City Of Angels" and went for art grandeur on the still-unissued “Chagall” – and it’s only a surface probe of his solo endeavors – but, again, it’s not just encyclopedic depth that defines Jon, because not a lot of people are familiar with Anderson’s fantastic sense of humor. All of this will come to light on “1000 Hands”: an album the veteran’s been working on for three decades and is ready to release soon, with pre-orders available from October 25th, the warbler’s 74th birthday, with Instagram and Facebook accounts already open to support the event.
As for the title, it refers to dozen of musicians who contributed to the album over the years, including Jon’s erstwhile and current bandmates – Steve Howe, Alan White, Trevor Rabin, Jean Luc Ponty and the late Chris Squire – and the not-so-usual suspects such as Rick Derringer, Pat Travers, Steve Morse and Larry Coryell on guitars; Stu Hamm on bass; Carmine Appice and Billy Cobham on drums; Chick Corea, Brian Chatton and JOURNEY’s Jonathan Cain on keyboards; Jerry Goodman and KANSAS’ Robby Steinhardt on violins; Ian Anderson on flute and TOWER OF POWER on horns; and TOTO’s Bobby Kimball among the backing vocalists. Must be massive – and, hopefully, not disjointed.
As for the tracklisting, here it is:
4. First Born Leaders
5. Now Variations
6. Makes Me Happy
7. I Found Myself
8. Twice In A Lifetime
10 Come Up