Clifton AndersonBeen Down This Road BeforeRopeadope/What We Do Music

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Trombonist and Composer Clifton Anderson returns with his fourth solo album, Been Down This Road Before , due out on December 4, 2020 via Ropeadope. The title and lead single state the intent and message that is on the composer’s mind:

Been Down This Road Before is a thought provoking musical message, delivered at a time when racism, greed, injustice and a deadly pandemic are jeopardizing our ability to harmoniously exist with one another and with our planet.

‘I believe music is a powerful tool to evoke consciousness and therefore change. I approach my music with the idea that it must do that as well as uplift the listener spiritually, intellectually and soulfully.’

With Been Down This Road Before, It’s all in there …. (Clifton Anderson)

While the title expresses a sense of exasperation at the continued oppression inherent in the USA, this is a statement from an elder statesman with a sense of cautious hope. Anderson’s toned intro gives way to a gentle beat courtesy of Steve Jordan, as Andy Bey evokes another time with his rich vocal. It’s a perfect taste of the album, which finds Anderson leading various lineups on the ten tracks: Antoine Roney, Buster Williams, Stephen Scott, Victor See Yuen, Sammy Figueroa, Peter Bernsein, Renee McLean, Ronnie Burrage, Al Foster, Eric Wyatt, Tom Barney, and John F Adams all appear, with a fully cohesive feel throughout.

Clifton Anderson is considered one of the leading trombonists and composers performing in Jazz today. His performances embody the rich and varied history of musical experiences he’s enjoyed while working alongside a who’s who of musical giants from Sonny Rollins, McCoy Tyner, Dizzy Gillespie, Slide Hampton, Lester Bowie, Frank Foster, Charlie Haden, and Dee Dee Bridgewater to Stevie Wonder, Keith Richards, Paul Simon, The Mighty Sparrow, and Merv Griffin among others. He is noted for his rich personal sound on the horn and his abilities as a composer and musical interpreter. His identifiable sound and memorable compositions have drawn an ever-expanding audience to his recordings and performances. 

Clifton was born in Harlem, New York City, into a musical family and showed an affinity for music from an early age. At seven years old, he received his first trombone from his uncle, Jazz legend Sonny Rollins. Clifton attended the prestigious Fiorello LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and is a graduate of The Manhattan School Of Music. During his college years, Clifton joined groups led by Frank Foster and Carlos Garnett and became one of the original members of Slide Hampton’s “World of Trombones.” He quickly became one of the young in-demand trombonists on the New York scene, and in 1983 he joined his uncle’s band. Clifton’s work with Rollins as a featured soloist and producer is well documented. 

In addition to numerous world tours with Rollins, Clifton has appeared on ten of Sonny’s recordings and produced three CDs and one DVD for Sonny’s DOXY label. In 1997, Clifton recorded his first CD for Milestone records (now Concord) entitled Landmarks. In 2009, Clifton released Decade on the DOXY/UNIVERSAL label. Critical acclaim for Decade and exceptional live performance reviews led to Clifton’s nomination for “Trombonist Of The Year” from The American Jazz Journalist Association. Clifton’s next offering, And So We Carry On, was voted “One of the Top Jazz CD Releases Of 2012” by Jazz Inside Magazine. It reached #4 on Jazz radio, remaining in the Top 20 for several months. Clifton’s live shows have followed the standard set by his recordings, and he continues to play to very enthusiastic and appreciative audiences. He has performed with his sextet at major festivals within the United States and Europe. 

Trombone, Didgeridoo, Percussion – Clifton Anderson
Saxophones and Reeds – Renee McLean, Antoine Roney, Eric Wyatt
Guitar – Peter Bernstein
Keyboards – John F. Adams, Monty Alexander, Stephen Scott, Tadataka Unno
Bass – Buster Williams, Tom Barney
Drums – Ronnie Burrage, Al Foster, Steve Jordan
Percussion – Sammy Figueroa, Victor See Yuen
Vocals – Andy Bey
Background Vocals – Mala Waldron, Angela Workman, John F. Adams

Composed & Produced by Clifton Anderson
”A House Is Not A Home” written by Hal David, Burt Bacharach
”Mysticancients” written by Clifton Anderson, Rene McLean, Victor See Yuen