Ray Anderson Quartet
"If I ever had a home, it was the slide trombone" says Ray Anderson. Although the perennial poll- winner (6 times in Down Beat's Critics Poll!) is indeed at home with the "slip-horn", his unique music is now being heard all over the world. Anderson's innovative and influential style is technically awesome but straight from the heart. He shatters musical categories but remains personal, emotional and accessible. He is often humorous but never predictable. He has given the trombone a whole new sound and also developed a trombone-like way of singing.
The mark of a great artist has always been to go beyond technical excellence and impart a personal vision - a sense of style and self-expression that is indelibly his own. Among modern jazz musicians, no one rises to that standard more than trombonist Ray Anderson, whose sublime mastery of the tricks of his trade is equalled by the bountiful spirit he pours into his one-of-a-kind sound.
The man who wrote If I Ever Had a Home It Was a Slide Trombone, one of his many original compositions, has inhabited every nook and cranny of his horn. Described by critic Gary Giddins as "one of the most compellingly original trombonists," he is by turns a supremely lyrical player and bold texturalist, a warmly natural-sounding soloist and footloose innovator. Broadening the trombone's sonic scope with his extended techniques, brilliantly unconventional use of the plunger mute and demonstrative vocal-like tones, he played a major role in reawakening interest in the instrument in the '80s.
Named five straight years as best trombonist in the Down Beat Critics Poll and declared "the most exciting slide brass player of his generation" by the Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD, Anderson has shown remarkable range. He has led or co-led a daunting assortment of tradition-minded and experimental groups, big bands, blues and funk projects and even a trombone quartet. He is recognized as an original and compelling composer and has recorded more than 70 of his own compositions with these groups. In the tradition of Louis Armstrong, he is a colorful and exuberant performer and a spirited vocalist who induces smiles with his unusual split tones and screech effects.
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