Issue February 4, 2009

Decade

Clifton Anderson
DOXY/EMARCY

Clifton Anderson is Sonny Rollins’s nephew and longtime trombonist. While his new CD is titled Decade, representing the years since his last solo recording, the keyword is swing.

Accompanied by pianist Larry Willis, bassist Bob Crenshaw and drummer Al Foster, Anderson shows what he has learned in pacing and focus. “Noble” sets the stage for workouts on mostly straight-ahead pieces. The leader does not slow down until halfway through, stretching out on an almost 11-minute standard “I’m Glad There Is You.” A further lesson from Sonny shows up on another original, “Aah Soon Come.” The only other ballad here is, “We’ll Be Together Again,” in which Anderson explores the sensitive side of his instrument in a gentle duet with pianist Stephen Scott. The closer, “Stubbs,” romps ferociously. Decade is clear evidence of his abilities as a leader.