Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Anderson, Ray (Ray Robert Anderson)

Anderson, Ray (Ray Robert Anderson), trombonist, singer; b. Chicago, Illlinois, 16 October 1952. His father is Philip A. Anderson, theologian, born 3/15/22 in Minneapolis; mother Phoebe Mellinger, author, teacher, born 8/13/20 Youngstown Ohio, died April 1999. His siblings are Ross Anderson, musician (reed instruments), b. 2/10/50, and Amy Anderson, b. 7/16/55. Raised in the Hyde Park area, he took up the trombone in fourth grade, influenced by his father's Dixieland recordings. He attended the University of Chicago Lab School, where one of his classmates was George Lewis and teachers included Frank Tirro and Dean Hey. He heard music of the members of Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, with whom he later performed. He played in R&B bands while attending college in Minnesota and Los Angeles and funk and Latin bands while living in San Francisco. On the West Coast, he became associated with David Murray , Charles Moffett and Stanley Crouch (then a drummer).

In 1973, he moved to New York, where he studied and played with Jimmy Giuffre, joined Barry Altschul's trio and played for three years with the quartet of Anthony Braxton. In the '80s, he garnered attention with collective bands including the funk-oriented Slickaphonics and the trio BassDrumBone, featuring Mark Helias and Gerry Hemingway. Besides working as a leader and sideperson with many groups, he also received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1983 for a series of solo trombone concerts. He also got a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2001 and a Chamber Music America grant in 2002. He is a full-time music faculty at the State U of NY at Stony Brook.

He has led groups under such names as the Alligatory Band, the Pocket Brass Band, Lapis Lazuli Band, and periodically reunites with Lewis, Gary Valente and Craig Harris in a trombone quartet, Slideride.

His wife, Jackie Raven, died August 19th 2002; they were married 22 years. Their son is Raven Anderson (b.1986) and their daughter is Anabel Anderson (b. 1990; he wrote "Snoo Tune" for her).

Harrisburg Half-Life (1980); Right Down Your Alley (1984); Old Bottles, New Wine (1985); It Just So Happens (1987); Blues Bred In The Bone (1988); What Because (1990); Wishbone (1991); Every One of Us (1992); Ray Anderson's Alligatory Band: Don't Mow Your Lawn (1994), Heads and Tales (1994); Ray Anderson's Lapis Lazuli Band: Funkorific (1998);Ray Anderson's Pocket Brass Band: Where Home Is (1999); Bonemeal
BassDrumBone: Oahspe (1978), You Be (1986), Wooferlo (1988), Hence The Reason (1996), Cooked To Perfection (1999), March of Dimes (2002); With George Gruntz: Ray Anderson's BigBand Record (1994); Slickaphonics: Wow Bag (1982), Modern Life (1984), Humatomic Energy (1985), Check Your Head at the Door (1986), Live (1987); With Han Bennink and Christy Doran: Azurety (1995), Cheer Up (1995); SLIDERIDE: Slideride (1994)
As sideperson:
Baird Hersey and the Year of the Ear: Lookin' For That Groove (1978); Gerry Hemingway: Kwambe (1978); Allan Jaffe: Soundscape (1978); Barry Altschul: Another Time, Another Place (1978), Somewhere Else (1979), For Stu (1981); Anthony Braxton: Seven Compositions 1978 (1979), Composition 98 (1981), Performance 9/1/79 (1979), Creative Orchestra 1978 (1994); Roscoe Mitchell: Sketches For Bamboo (1979); Peter Warren: Solidarity (1982); Tim Berne: The Ancestors (1983)

Frits Lagerwerff: Ray Anderson. 'Men vond mij niet cool, onbruikbaar!', in: Jazz Nu (Feb.1982)
Bill Shoemaker: Ray Anderson. 'Boning Up for the Future, in: Down Beat (Sep.1982)
Fred Bouchard: Blindfold Test. Ray Anderson, in: Down Beat (Oct.1986)
J. Levenson: Ray Anderson. Slidin' Into First, in: Down Beat (Aug.1989)
Arnold Jay Smith: Ray Anderson. Telling His Own Truths, in: Jazz Times, Jun.1990
Michael Bourne: Ray Anderson - Bone from another planet, in: Down Beat (Aug.1991)
Miyoshi Smith: Ray Anderson. Blues Bred in the Bone, in: Coda (Sep/Oct.1991)
Henk Kleinhout: Rommelen met de toon. Ray Anderson, in: Jazz Nu (Apr.1992)
Christian Emigholz: Mein Spiel ist dem Reden und Singen sehr aehnlich. Gespraech mit Ray Anderson, in: Jazzthetik (Apr.1993)
Fred Bouchard: Ray Anderson - On Tones, 'Bones and Home, in: Jazz Times (Oct.1993)
Robert Hicks: Profile. Ray Anderson, in: Jazziz (Oct.1994)
Michael Bourne: Talking Bones, in: Hennessy Jazz Notes, Spring 1995 (with Dave Taylor, Steve Turre, Dave Bargeron, Art Baron, Earl McIntyre, Benny Powell, Delfeayo Marsalis, Craig Harris, Ray Anderson, Gary Valente)
Christian Gauffre: Ray Anderson - Je chante comme je joue, in: Jazz Magazine (Mar.1996)
Christian Gauffre: Ray Anderson. L'inchante, in: Jazz Magazine (Apr.1996)
Peter Kemper: Pfeffersteak und Pfannkuchen. Der Posaunist Ray Anderson kocht im Sinkkasten mit allen Kuechentricks, in: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 7.Nov.1996
Romain Grosman: Ray Anderson. Alligator Growl, in: Jazz Hot (Mar.1997)

Five straight years as best trombonist in the Down Beat Critics Poll, 1987-1991.

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