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Ray Anderson

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Ray Anderson


The trombone tends to attract outgoing personalities, a description that certainly fits Ray Anderson; after all, his publicity photos often reveal him wearing a beret, or at least a goofy smile. Such good humor often translates into his music, but that's not to say he's not a serious player. Having worked with artists ranging from Anthony Braxton to John Scofield in addition to leading and co-leading his own groups for roughly twenty years, he's demonstrated great versatility, combining an advanced grasp of blues, Bop and Free Jazz traditions with his own bag of virtuosic trombone tricks. His albums -- which have come via acoustic combos, a big band, an all-trombone quartet and a partially electric six-piece -- are consistently fun affairs, balancing tunefulness, swing and (sometimes) funkiness with enough left-field spontaneity to interest both straight-ahead and avant garde-inclined jazz listeners.
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