Trombonist, composer, 1952 USA.
He took up the trombone in fourth grade, influenced by his father’s dixieland recordings. Named five straight years as best trombonist in the Down Beat Critics Poll and declared ‘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 and is recognized as an original and compelling composer. Played and recorded with a.o. Carla Bley, Charlie Haden, John Scofield, Dewey Redman, Joe Lovano, Bob Stewart, Allen Toussaint, Steve Ray Vaughn, Branford Marsalis and many others.
“has a fluency and range on the instrument that would have seemed impossible a few years ago…like a trombone version of John Coltrane’s tenor saxophone sound.” (Robert Palmer, NY Times).
“The most prominent trombonist of his generation.” (Gene Seymour, NY Newsday)
“Anderson is a true and total original.” (Fred Bouchard, Jazz Times)
“Ray’s chops are phenomenal -from swooping legato to breakneck staccato, from the nastiest growls to the sweetest whimpers -but it’s evident that he’s not about technique, that he’ll sometimes altogether forget technique. It’s the feeling he’s playing,…” (Michael Bourne, Downbeat)
“Ray Anderson’s trombone chops have the strength of tensile steel and the flexibility of latex, and his technique allows him to play whatever ideas enter his mind. What enters it has large components not only of beauty but of whimsy and nonsense. In addition to the range of Yma Sumac and tonal variety approximating that of a 16-piece band, Anderson has taste.” (Doug Ramsey, Jazz Times)
“In recent years, Ray Anderson has all but revolutionized trombone technique. He not only plays faster with more variations of tone and timbre than his contemporaries, but also injects extraordinary energy and feeling into his music, be it a basic blues, a tricksy original or a straightahead blowing vehicle.” (Chris Parker, BBC Music Magazine)
“Anderson burns and buzzes and nuzzles the airstream like Ben Webster, none of his trenchancy nor distortions detracting from the beauty.” (Brian Case, Melody Maker)
“Ray Anderson carries on like a handsome devil, scatting up a storm in his husky, ecstatic voice, dancing like a Chaplin on amphetamines, and above all playing his trombone.” (L’Hebdo, Lausanne, Switzerland)