Nearly 30 years ago, Yes frontman Jon Anderson began work on a solo album with help from his bandmates Alan White and Chris Squire. He never got around to finishing it and eventually got sidetracked by Yes work, but recently went back into the studio to complete the album with help from producer Michael T. Franklin. Anderson originally called the project Uzlot, but now that it’s finally done, he’s calling it 1,000 Hands. It comes out March 31st.
“I’ve spent long periods of time making some records, but I’ve never taken a journey quite like this one,” Anderson said in a statement. “To say that 1,000 Hands has been a long time in coming would be quite an understatement, but I’m thrilled that it’s finally a reality and that my fans will now be able to hear it. And I think they’ll be delighted to hear music that’s timeless. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.”
Anderson recorded the album at Solar Studios in Orlando, Florida and enlisted numerous guest musicians, including Yes guitarist Steve Howe, Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson, Jean-Luc Ponty, Billy Cobham, Chick Corea, Steve Morse, Rick Derringer, Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain and the Tower of Power Horns. “That’s where the title 1,000 Hands comes from, all of the brilliant musicians who played a part in making the record,” Anderson said. “Michael acted like something of a casting director, bringing so many great players. It was really exciting to hear the record open up and become what I had always envisioned.”
Anderson spent the past couple of years touring with Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman and Eighties-era Yes guitarist Trevor Rabin under the moniker Yes Featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman. Howe, meanwhile, continues to tour as Yes with drummer Alan White, keyboardist Geoff Downes, vocalist Jon Davison and bassist Billy Sherwood. The two competing entities came together for a two-song set at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2017, but have resisted all other calls to reunite.
But with his version of Yes taking the year off, Anderson is hitting the road as a solo act to promote 1,000 Hands. His touring band will include Michael Franklin (keyboards), Tim Franklin (bass), Matt Brown (drums), Tommy Carlton (guitar), Jocelyn Hsu (percussion), Antonio Esposito (keyboards) and Chris Charles (saxophone).
“I’m looking forward to putting on a great show,” Anderson said in a statement. “We’re going to do a lot of Yes music and some songs I haven’t sung in a while, and we’re going to do some songs from 1,000 Hands. I’m thrilled to be playing with Michael, his brother Tim, and all of the great musicians in this band. To be able to go out and give music to the fans is one of the greatest treasures in my life. We promise everybody a really special evening.”
Jon Anderson Tour Dates