Few will deny Ray Anderson’s estimable stature as an innovative stylist not to mention one of the finest all around trombonists in the world. Anderson is equally at home whether improvising with modernist Anthony Braxton, leading big bands, splitting hairs with guitarist Christy Doran and renowned Dutch drummer Han Bennink or exploring the outer limits of his instrument while performing with the “BassDrumBone” trio. Yet Anderson also enjoys delving into some straight ahead jazz, funk and R&B from time to time which is evident on his latest release for “ENJA Records” titled, Where Home Is. Anderson along with trumpeter Lew Soloff, drummer Bobby Previte and sousaphone expert, Matt Perrine engage New Orleans 2nd line traditionalism with an uncompromising and let’s-get-down-to-business attitude! Anderson and his bandmates, here known as the “Pocket Brass Band” cut and slash through jazz standards such as Ellington’s “The Mooche” and Monk’s “I Mean You” or Anderson compositions such as the foot-stomping “Bimwa Swing” and his vivacious New Orleans jazz-funk-piece, “The Alligatory Abagua”. On this cut, Previte kicks up the band with a rollicking and quite turbulent drum solo as Perrine handles the lower end or “bass” chores throughout the entire recording. Essentially, Perrine’s performances on the sousaphone provide that “marching band” feel on most tracks along with plenty of bold soloing and brassy choruses by Soloff and Anderson. If you’re seeking the artistic or cerebral side of Anderson than you may want to pass this one up. Otherwise, a good time was had by all, as the “Pocket Brass Band” verify that notion beyond a reasonable doubt. * * *
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