I first came across Ray Anderson in the spring of 1991 when I went to Chicago to audition for a Master’s program at Northwestern University. While I was there, I was browsing through the CDs at Rose Records and came across Anderson’s 1990 recording, What Because (Gramavision R2 79453). I’d never heard of Ray, but I am always game to hear someone new, so I bought the CD. At first, I have to say I was not overly excited – Ray’s sound is a little on the rough side, and it took a few listens before I got used to that. Once I did, I could then focus on what he was doing musically, and just let myself get caught up in his contagious joy and energy. Since then, I have bought many more of his recordings, but What Because has remained a favourite. Coincidentally, when I returned (with my wife Sandy) to Chicago that fall to begin my Master’s degree, the first night we were there we got to hear Ray Anderson live at a bar downtown. What a thrill that was! I have since seen a few of his performances, and they are always FUN!
I’ll never forget how excited I was in my 1st year at UPEI to find Christian Lindberg’s first solo recording The Virtuoso Trombone at the UPEI Music library. Lindberg did things on that record that I hadn’t even imagined possible on the trombone. Since that first record 20-odd years ago, Christian has released 30 solo CDs, performed as a guest soloist on another 30, and gives around 100 live performances each year, all over the world. It is truly remarkable what he has accomplished. I have seen Lindberg live a couple of times, but the most memorable performances were at the International Trombone Workshop in 1994 in Minneapolis. There I got to hear him perform a solo recital of all unaccompanied works, and two nights later, the world premiere performance of Toru Takemitsu’s “Fantasma/Cantos II” for trombone and orchestra, with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Amazing!
Here’s a photo of me with both Ray Anderson and Christian Lindberg (and a friend of mine) taken at the ITW in Minneapolis:
L to R: LC, CL, me, RA