Ray Anderson

Bonemeal

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This live quartet release from trombonist Ray Anderson on his own Raybone label features guitarist Steve Salerno, bassist Mark Helias, and drummer Matt Wilson. The emphasis is on straight-up blues with a playful New Orleans vibe, although to vary the mood the group offers "Green Eyes, Fireflies," an original bossa ballad, and the closing "Star-Crossed Lovers" by Ellington/Strayhorn. Anderson doubles on sousaphone, and he exploits the vocal qualities of both his instruments to the hilt; the fact that he's a decent singer is probably no accident. Check out his wigged-out scatting on "Snoo's Tune" and his borderline-bawdy vocal on "Microwave Woman" -- "Every time I'm in her oven, she rearrange my molecules." (The lyrics are by Anderson's wife, Jackie Raven.)

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