Two Trombone Trios
Thursday, February, 23, 2012, Bezanson Recital Hall
The Magic Triangle Jazz Series, produced by WMUA-91.1FM and the Fine Arts Center at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, begins its 23rd season on Thursday, Feb. 23, at Bezanson Recital Hall, at 8:00pm with our first-ever Magic Triangle double bill featuring: Frank Lacy: trombone; Andrew Drury: drums and Kevin Ray: bass, AND the Ray Anderson Trio, featuring Ray Anderson: trombone; Dean Johnson: bass and Eric McPherson: drums.
General Admission: $12; Students $7
Trombonist Frank Lacy has long straddled the fence between avant-garde and mainstream forms. He has played with such free jazz paragons as Henry Threadgill, Oliver Lake, and Julius Hemphill, yet can also count Dizzy Gillespie and Abdullah Ibrahim among the prominent leaders for whom he's worked. Indeed, Lacy spent a year-and-a-half as music director for Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and played with Bobby Watson's Horizon band. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Lacy attended Berklee School of Music, and Rutgers University. Lacy's first record as a leader was Tonal Weights and Blue Fire (Enja, 1991). Lacy has anchored the trombone sections of the David Murray, McCoy Tyner and the Mingus Big Bands, as well as Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy.
Drummer Andrew Drury, a student of the legendary drummer Ed Blackwell, has appeared on over 20 CDs and worked with artists such as Jason Kao Hwang, Myra Melford, Chris Speed, and Steve Swell, among others.
Bassist Kevin Ray has recorded or played with John Stubblefield, Oliver Lake, Greg Osby, Andrew Hill, Marty Ehrlich, Elliott Sharp, John Hicks, and The Flux Quartet.
Described by critic Gary Giddins as “one of the most compellingly original trombonists,” Ray Anderson has broadened the instrument's sonic scope with extended techniques, brilliantly unconventional use of the plunger mute and demonstrative vocal-like tones. He played a major role in reawakening interest in the trombone in the 1980s, and has been repeatedly named best trombonist in the Down Beat Critics Poll. The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD has called him “the most exciting slide brass player of his generation”. Bassist Dean Johnson has performed with numerous groups including the New York Voices, and in special concerts with jazz artists Fred Hirsch, Jane Ira Bloom, Frank Kimbrough and Art Lande. He also performs regularly with pipa virtuoso Min Xioa-Fen, and has recorded with vocalists Kendra Shank and Roseanna Vitro. In addition to touring and recording with Jackie McLean for 15 years, drummer Eric McPherson has performed and recorded with a wide range of major jazz figures, including Pharaoh Sanders, Andrew Hill, Richard Davis, Jason Moran, Greg Osby and Avishai Cohen.
“Like a well-oiled machine, the Ray Anderson Trio's interplay is piston-perfect,” writes Troy Collins. “Modulating their approach within each tune, the players vary tempo, rhythm, tonality and structure, but with a casual sensibility that can only come from the sort of experienced rapport veterans enjoy.”
To hear samples and purchase music check out the Ray Anderson Trio's itunes store.
The Magic Triangle Jazz Concert Series is produced by WMUA-FM and the Fine Arts Center, and funded by the UMass Arts Council and an ECSA grant. Additional support from Amherst College and the UMass Hotel at the Campus Center.