Clifton Anderson was born on October 5, 1957 in Harlem, New York City. He grew up surrounded by music. His father was a church organist /choir director, and his mother a singer and pianist. It was no surprise that Clifton exhibited an affinity for music at an early age. When he was just seven years old he got his first trombone, a gift from his uncle Sonny Rollins.
Clifton attended the prestigious Fiorello LaGuardia High School of Music and Art. In 1974 he spent one year at The State University of New York at Stony Brook studying under Simon Karasick and Dave Schechter. He continued his education at the Manhattan School of Music, and graduated in 1978 with a Bachelor of Music degree. At The Manhattan School, he studied under the renowned Metropolitan Opera trombonist John Clark. There he also met and befriended talented musicians like Angela Bofill and the late Kenny Kirkland.
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Easily among the top mainstream trombonists in Jazz today ... full-
bodied, post-bop trombone sound and considerable compositional
skills .... finely executed heartfelt jazz.
- Joel Roberts - New York City Jazz Record
In Clifton's hands, you hear the trombone in a modern guise.
Clifton plays with plenty of hard-bop power, but he also delivers the
punch with high-register sensitivity, exhibits enormous tenderness,
and his cinematic sense of suspense holds the ear. What I love most
about Clifton's playing here is his tone.
-Marc Myers - JazzWax.com