Ray Anderson (musician)

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Ray Anderson
Background information
Born (1952-10-16) October 16, 1952 (age 71)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Instrument(s)Trombone, trumpet, vocals
Years active1973–present

Ray Anderson (born October 16, 1952) is an American jazz trombonist.[1] Trained by the Chicago Symphony trombonists, he is regarded as someone who pushes the limits of the instrument, including performing on alto trombone and slide trumpet. He is a colleague of trombonist George E. Lewis. Anderson also plays sousaphone and sings.[2] He was frequently chosen in DownBeat magazine's Critics Poll as best trombonist throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s.[3]


After studying in California, he moved to New York in 1972 and freelanced.[4] In 1977, he joined Anthony Braxton's Quartet (replacing George E. Lewis) and started working with Barry Altschul's group.[4] In addition to leading his own groups since the late 1970s including the funk-oriented Slickaphonics,[4] in which he began taking an occasional good-humored vocal, where he shows the ability to sing two notes at the same time (a minor third apart). Anderson has worked with George Gruntz's Concert Jazz Band.

Anderson has worked with David Murray, Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra, Dr. John, Luther Allison, Bennie Wallace, Gerry Hemingway, Henry Threadgill, John Scofield, Roscoe Mitchell, Randy Sandke's Inside Out Band, Sam Rivers' Rivbea Orchestra, Bobby Previte, George Russell and others. Anderson is a member of Jim Pugh's Super Trombone with Dave Bargeron and Dave Taylor. He received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for a series of solo trombone concerts.

Anderson has frequently returned to his early love of New Orleans music for inspiration. His Alligatory Band and Pocket Brass Band, featuring tuba player Bob Stewart or sousaphonist Matt Perrine and trumpeter Lew Soloff, are rooted in its tradition.[5][6] Since 2003 he has taught and conducted at Stony Brook University.


As leader/co-leader[edit]

With BassDrumBone

  • Wooferlo (Soul Note, 1989)
  • Hence the Reason (Enja, 1997)
  • Cooked to Perfection (Auricle, 1999)
  • March of Dimes (Data, 2002)
  • The Line Up (Clean Feed, 2006)
  • The Other Parade (Clean Feed, 2011)
  • The Long Road (Auricle, 2016)

With Slickaphonics

  • Wow Bag (Enja, 1982)
  • Modern Life (Enja, 1984)
  • Humatomic Energy (Blue Heron, 1985)
  • Check Your Head at the Door (Teldec, 1986)
  • Live (Teldec, 1987)

As sideman[edit]

With Barry Altschul

  • Somewhere Else (Moers Music, 1979)

With Anthony Braxton

With Charlie Haden

With Julius Hemphill

With Roscoe Mitchell

With Sam Rivers' Rivbea All-star Orchestra

With Bobby Previte & Bump

With Hank Roberts

With George Russell's New York Band

With Bob Thiele Collective

  • Lion Hearted (1993)

With Roseanna Vitro and Kenny Werner


  1. ^ Cook, Richard (2005). Richard Cook's Jazz Encyclopedia. London: Penguin Books. pp. 14–15. ISBN 0-141-00646-3.
  2. ^ "Ray Anderson | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  3. ^ "1988 DownBeat Critics Poll". Archived from the original on 2012-03-06.
  4. ^ a b c Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Who's Who of Jazz (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 14. ISBN 0-85112-580-8.
  5. ^ "Montalvo Arts Center | Ray Anderson". www.montalvoarts.org. Retrieved 2020-11-12.
  6. ^ "Where Home Is - Ray Anderson, Ray Anderson Pocket Brass Band | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2020-11-12.

External links[edit]