If I ever had a home, it was the slide trombone says Ray Anderson. Although the perennial poll- winner (6 times in Down Beat's Critics Poll!) is indeed at home with the slip-horn, his unique music is now being heard all over the world. Anderson's innovative and influential style is technically awesome but straight from the heart. He shatters musical categories but remains personal, emotional and accessible. He is often humorous but never predictable. He has given the trombone a whole new sound and also developed a trombone-like way of singing.
Born in Chicago in 1952, Ray Anderson started playing trombone when he was eight. The music I remember from my parent's house includes many Dixieland records (which inspired me to select trombone as my instrument) as well as Mahalia Jackson, Broadway shows, Mozart concertos and various folk singers. I played trombone in the orchestra and jazz big band at the University of Chicago Lab School. I was introduced to everything from John Cage to the Blues, from Archie Shepp, Duke Ellington, John Coltrane and Bird to Motown, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and Sly and the Family Stone; I also heard some of the early AACM concerts. Thus I developed an omnivorous taste in music which has only grown over the years.
After three years in California, playing in funk, R&B and jazz groups, Ray Anderson moved to New York City in 1972