A boisterous trombonist who has greatly expanded the range of the trombone and is masterful at multi-phonics, Ray Anderson's playing is often hilarious. His main fault is a tendency to repeat the same joke over and over again, namely "look how high I can play." Anderson began playing the trombone when he was eight and early on had a wide variety of experience ranging from classical lessons, enjoying Dixieland, playing blues and funk, and going to some concerts by the AACM. After spending some time in California, he moved to New York in 1972 and freelanced. In 1977, Anderson joined Anthony Braxton's Quartet (replacing George Lewis) and started working with Barry Altschul's group. From this point forward he started ranking high in polls and becoming influential himself. In addition to leading his own groups since the late '70s (including the funk-oriented Slickaphonics), Anderson has worked with George Gruntz's Concert Jazz Band. In the '90s, he began taking an occasional good-humored vocal, during which he shows the ability to sing two notes at the same time (a minor third apart).