Chris Albertson is a writer, broadcaster and record producer whose work in Jazz and Blues, especially in his interviews with leading figures, has opened a window on the character of the people that have made the music great. His knowledgeable and unsentimental approach allows real insight to emerge from the hype, and his biography of Bessie Smith is an example of authentically researched writing prevailing over the dramatic tendencies of journalism.
Born in 1931 in Reykjavik, Iceland and educated in Denmark and England, Christiern Gunnar Albertson made his first recordings in 1953, when he taped Chris Barber‘s Band and Lonnie Donegan on tour in Copenhagen and got the results issued on a local label. He worked for US Armed Services Radio back in Iceland, then continued his DJ career in Philadelphia and later in New York. Chris was employed as a producer by Riverside Records in 1961, capturing the final sessions of Ida Cox and Meade Lux Lewis, and supervising the renowned ‘Living Legends’ series. After setting up his own production company, Chris had albums issued by Prestige Records on their Bluesville and New Jazz imprints, including some great sessions with Lonnie Johnson. In the late 60s Chris worked for the BBC in London and, on his return to The States, hosted a weekly TV show on PBS titled ‘The Jazz Set’.