Ray Anderson (musician)

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Ray Anderson
Photo Hreinn Gudlaugsson
Background information
Born (1952-10-16) October 16, 1952 (age 64)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Trombone, trumpet
Years active 1973–present
Labels Enja
Website www.rayanderson.org

Ray Anderson (born October 16, 1952 in Chicago, Illinois) is a jazz trombone and trumpet player.[1] Trained by the Chicago Symphony trombonists, he is regarded as someone who pushes the limits of the instrument. He is a colleague of trombonist George 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 1973 and freelanced. In 1977, he joined Anthony Braxton's Quartet (replacing George Lewis) and started working with Barry Altschul's group. In addition to leading his own groups since the late '70s (including the funk-oriented Slickaphonics), Anderson has worked with George Gruntz's Concert Jazz Band. In the '90s, he began taking an occasional good-humored vocal, during which he shows the ability to sing two notes at the same time (a minor third apart).

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 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, are rooted in its tradition. Since 2003 he has taught and conducted at Stony Brook University.


As leader[edit]

  • Harrisburg Half Life (Moers, 1980)
  • Right Down Your Alley (Soul Note, 1984)
  • Old Bottles – New Wine (Enja, 1985)
  • It Just So Happens (Enja, 1987)
  • Blues Bred in the Bone (Enja, 1988)
  • What Because (Gramavision, 1989)
  • Wishbone (Gramavision, 1991)
  • Every One of Us (Gramavision, 1992)
  • Big Band Record (Gramavision, 1994)
  • Where Home Is (Enja, 1998)
  • Bonemeal (Raybone, 2000)
  • Sweet Chicago Suite (2012)
  • Ray Anderson/Craig Harris/George Lewis/Gary Valente, Slideride (Hat Hut, 1994)
  • Ray Anderson/Han Bennink/Christy Doran, Azurety (Hat Art, 1994)
  • Ray Anderson/Han Bennink/Christy Doran, Cheer Up (Hat Art, 1995)
  • Ray Anderson/Ibrahim Electric, Ibrahim Electric Meets Ray Anderson (Sundance, 2005)
  • Bobby Previte & Bump, Just Add Water (Palmetto, 2001)
  • Don't Mow Your Lawn, Alligator Band (Enja, 1994)

With Slickaphonics

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

As sideman[edit]

With Barry Altschul

With Anthony Braxton

With Charlie Haden

With Hank Roberts

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. ^ Allmusic
  3. ^ "1988 DownBeat Critics Poll". 

External links[edit]