Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Trombonist to the master

Leave it to Clifton Anderson to show the proper way to coax a calypso out of the trombone, not exactly the instrument with the lightest touch. But then Anderson has been playing next to Sonny Rollins, a guy who knows a little something about calypsos (see "St. Thomas," for one), for more than two decades. Rollins happens to be his uncle, although the great saxophonist fired his nephew once, the message being it's Anderson's playing that counts, on stage and on "Landmarks" from Milestone.

As far as I can tell, the disk, which came out 10 years ago, is the only recorded session Anderson's led. Something possessed me to pull it out for lunch today and besides the impressive calypso grappling, it's a notable CD overall, with Monty Alexander on piano and Wallace Roney and Kenny Garrett guesting on a song each. Five of the eight pieces are Anderson compositions and he shows skill at that, too. I'm equally impressed with the way he makes a ballad instrument of the 'bone on "My One and Only Love." Good stuff.

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