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Artist Profiles

Ray Anderson

By Published: December 20, 2008
Anderson has also played duo gigs with percussionist Gerry Hemingway, bassman Mark Helias
Mark Helias
Mark Helias

bass, acoustic
and drummer Pheeroan akLaff, but these are more akin to occasional encounters. His other December date in New York is at the Middle Collegiate Church with Ehrlich and pianist James Weidman, as part of its Jazz Vespers series. "We were also talking about a Ray Anderson/Marty Ehrlich quintet. We're going to push that and make a record of that. There's a whole pool of people we both use often: Brad Jones [bass], Matt Wilson [drums]. I've known Marty at least back to 1979, working in Anthony Braxton's big band."

Anderson has just returned from Portugal and Greece, where he was subbing for trumpeter Eddie Henderson in The Leaders, a long-running supergroup. However, his normal life involves a week that's divided up into two sections. "I'm teaching at Stony Brook [University]. Generally, I'm out there half of the week. I'm the Director of Jazz Studies. I do everything there is to do with jazz out there. I have everybody from freshmen to graduate students who are incredible virtuosos. I'm very happy to be able to give people an essence of what the music is about, not dominated by a concept of what jazz is and what it isn't and what therefore is the right way to play and the wrong way to play. I teach the spirit of improvisation and self-expression. It's great to have an opportunity to do that."

Recommended Listening: Anthony Braxton, Performance (Quartet) 1979 (hatOLOGY, 1979)

Ray Anderson, Old Bottles, New Wine (Enja, 1985)

Ray Anderson, What Because (Gramavision, 1989)

Bass Drum Bone, Hence the Reason (Enja, 1996)

Ray Anderson/Mark Dresser, Nine Songs Together (CIMP, 2003)

Ray Anderson/Bob Stewart, Heavy Metal Duo (Work Songs & Other Spirituals) (s/r, 2004)

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