Clifton Anderson: Z
Clifton Anderson (trombone)
Decade (Doxy B0011862-02)
Composed by Clifton Anderson.
Recorded: New York City, Dec. 10-11, & 28, 2007
Rating: 93/100 (learn more)
Clifton Anderson has been standing on a stage or bandstand next to his uncle Sonny Rollins since 1983. Such is the typical audience's insatiable desire to hear the great Rollins play as much as humanly possible, Anderson, like any Rollins sideman, has to feel that he's "vamping 'til ready" when taking a solo of his own. However, those who manage to give Anderson their undivided attention know that he has developed into one of the better mainstream trombonists in jazz. Decade is regrettably only Anderson's second CD as a leader, coming about that many years from the first (Landmarks), and on it he impresses both as a player and composer.
Kenny Garrett made a guest appearance on Landmarks and does so again on the well-arranged track "Z." The easy-striding, catchy theme is played by Anderson and Garrett's alto in pure and silky intertwining harmony. Anderson's solo shows his ever-present J.J. Johnson influence, and the suspended time sections accentuate his rich tone. He mixes impeccable legato phrasing with rapid, fluidly articulated single-note runs. Garrett's technically adept and intricate boppish lines are the highlight of his all-too-brief improv. Stephen Scott's piano feature is kicked into high gear by drummer Steve Jordan's aggressive encouragement. Just when it appears that the two horns are in the process of closing out the piece, they step aside for Christian McBride's nimble and soulfully expressive bass solo, an unexpected treat that precedes the for real infectious reprise.
Reviewer: Scott Albin