"Freefall...is a triumphant and welcome return to the contemporary straight-ahead jazz scene for Anderson and his newly assembled trio featuring twelve original tracks, ten of which feature the trio and two solo guitar pieces.
The album effectively covers a wide breadth of the harmonic and emotive possibilities available in the tonal jazz idiom. From the exuberant, bright Lydian theme of 'Flight,' to the swaggering Mixolydian feel of 'In A Misty Glow,' and the dark, serpentine Locrian orientation of 'Diablo's Dream,' the trio genuinely captures and communicates the nature of each tune. The variety provides a fine overview of Anderson the composer.
Despite the breadth of the album, the depth to which Anderson and Schreiber explore each tune, driven by Rick's percussive backdrop, is the highlight. Though the trio possesses virtuosity in abundance, they never lose sight of the aesthetic sensibility that sets them apart from many other guitar trios. The nuanced communication between the players is clearly evident on tunes such as the blues-inflected 'Double-Dippin,'' and a similar sensitivity to the musical material can be heard on the evocative waltz 'The Enchanted Garden.'
The production only helps to convey the message; the guitar tone is clear and crisp, the bass vibrant, the percussion packs a punch, and the balance between all three is ideal.
Freefall is a unique conception, given a sense of unity and cohesion by the trio's attention to each tune's inherent musicality, the communication between players, and the successful integration and incorporation of all three instruments as essential elements in the greater musical tapestry."
- All About Jazz
"...(N)ice moments here, like the opening modal number 'Princess of the Nile' and the relaxed 'In a Misty Glow,' which has Anderson alternately double-timing furiously and laying into the luxurious tempo. The group swings with gusto on 'Flight,' the dynamic title track and the closer, 'Diablo's Dream,' which gives bassist Eric Schreiber and drummer Ed Rick room to stretch. Anderson also showcases his considerable chord-melody skills on two gorgeous, unaccompanied ballads, 'Song for Coreen' and 'Chanson.'"
"Chuck Anderson just concentrates on one thing: playing straight ahead Jazz. There is a lot of nimble technique in his playing which shows well both on springy pieces like 'Princess Of The Nile' and mellow Blues tracks like 'Misty Glow' and 'Exit Blues.' On 'Enchanted Garden' Anderson shifts into a reflective country-soul mood and on 'Diabloís Dream' he even works over a funk/hip-hop beat with buzzing, coiled toughness. His rhythm partners, Schreiber and Rich, are always in close support and Anderson emerges on this as a talented modern Jazz guitarist as fluid as a Scofield or Abercrombie."
- Cadence Magazine
"Jazz guitarist Chuck Anderson might not be known to a wide audience despite his obvious skills to fascinate. The reason may be that the 62-year old artist's career was extensively disrupted by the theft of his Gibson L5 guitar and a severe case of obstructive sleep apnea that left him feeling like a zombie. When craftsman Eric Schulte offered to reconstruct the L5 and Anderson also found effective treatment for his sleep apnea, he was able to resume his performing career after a hiatus of quite some years. A blessing to all of us, for Anderson proves himself to be one of the finest guitarists in the business. This CD, which consists entirely of 12 original compositions, shows him to be a skilled writer and is a 'sleeper' of a recording that reveals exceptional talents of an outstanding guitarist.
Anderson comes from the straight-ahead genealogy that moves from Charlie Christian, Les Paul and Wes Montgomery through Joe Beck, Vic Juris, and Pat Martino with a slight touch of the latter's rhythm and blues intensity. Though more laid back and less driven than Martino, Anderson is no less rhythmically quick and able to turn memorable phrases at will. The purity, precision and transparency of his execution is stunning. No wonder he grieved the loss of his L5: it must have been his soulmate. He makes his new reconstructed one his own as few musicians can do. Rarely will you hear such beauty of sound as emanates from Anderson and his instrument.
Eric Schreiber on 5-string bass and Ed Rick on drums and percussion provide perfect foils for Anderson. At times Anderson and Schreiber function almost as one instrument: their playing is that well-coordinated. Rick keeps perfect time, and his strokes on the cymbals are like crystalline glass angelically touched.
The songs on this CD, all composed by the guitarist, comprise a virtual suite and are of the sort that fit the guitar perfectly, being simple in statement and having an inner structure and beauty that is meant for the instrument. They evade verbal description and are compelling to listen to. Anderson's phrases flow endlessly and seamlessly throughout the recording, which is the way guitar improvising should be: each phrase evolving out of the one before it and leading to the one that follows, like the continuity of life itself.
This album should be listened to by guitar masters who still want to learn how to play their instrument. Everyone else runs the risk of being enchanted by the proper expression of an instrument which has told the human story almost since the beginning of recorded history. It sure has found a worthy poet in Anderson."
- All About Jazz
"It's clear from the rockish and startling chords of the opener, 'Princess of the Nile,' that guitarist Chuck Anderson is a unique force. The guitarist and composer, now 62, held staff guitar jobs for years at the Latin Casino in Cherry Hill and the Valley Forge Music Fair in Devon, meaning he played with folks like singers Bobby Darin and Nancy Wilson. Plus, early on, he was a student of visionary Philly jazz teacher Dennis Sandole.
The combination of high-end harmonics and accessible jazz gets distilled here into a likable mix. Working with bassist Eric Schreiber and drummer Ed Rick, Anderson takes a melodic approach, showing a romantic vibe on 'Mystique' that communicates well without dumbing it all down.
Anderson plays with a more classic bebop feeling on 'Exit Blues'...the guy can communicate. And everywhere he pays tribute to Wes Montgomery."
- Philadelphia Inquirer