Professor, Jazz Studies
Named five straight years as best trombonist in the Down Beat Critics Poll and declared "the most exciting slide brass player of his generation" by the Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD, Ray Anderson has shown remarkable range. He has led or co-led a daunting assortment of tradition-minded and experimental groups, big bands, blues and funk projects and even a trombone quartet. Anderson attended the University of Chicago Lab School, where one of his classmates was another notable trombone original, George Lewis. His teachers included Frank Tirro and Dean Hey. In 1973, Anderson moved to New York where he studied and played with composer and music theorist Jimmy Giuffre, joined drummer Barry Altschul's free-form trio and played for three years with the quartet of AACM saxophone hero Anthony Braxton. In the '80s, he garnered attention with collective bands including the funk-oriented Slickaphonics and the trio BassDrumBone, featuring bassist Mark Helias and drummer Gerry Hemingway. On a series of acclaimed recordings, he has ranged from Ellingtonia and jazz classics to striking originals.