Ray Anderson (musician)

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]

Ray Anderson
Background information
Born (1952-10-16) October 16, 1952
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
InstrumentsTrombone, trumpet
Years active1973–present


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, George Russell 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/co-leader

With BassDrumBone

  • Wooferlo (Soul Note, 1989)
  • Hence The Reason (Enja, 1997)
  • Cooked To Perfection (Auricle, 1999)
  • March Of Dimes (Data, 2002)
  • The Line Up (Clean Feed Records, 2006)
  • The Other Parade (Clean Feed Records, 2011)
  • The Long Road (Auricle, 2016)

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

With Barry Altschul

  • Somewhere Else (Moers, 1979)

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". Archived from the original on 2012-03-06.
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