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May 2000

Ray Anderson
Pocket Brass Band

Ray Anderson tailgates down to New Orleans with this edition of his Pocket Brass Band, a brass band in miniature. He's pared down the traditional brass band instrumentation to himself, Matt Perrine on sousaphone, trumpeter Lew Soloff and the adroit, versatile drummer Bobby Previte. Despite spare instrumentation the breadth of sound Anderson and company achieve is impressive. Following Anderson's trombonely trajectory, this particular stopover is a logical destination. He's always been an old soul with a modern outlook, seasoned with an active sense of humor. His predilection towards the alligator reveals itself here as the cheeky "The Alligatory Abagua."
The obligatory Ellington reveals itself as "The Mooche" and is followed in lockstep by music of one of Duke's musical sons, Thelonious Monk, in the guise of "I Mean You." "The Pineapple Rag," successfully lifted from the book of Scott Joplin, injects a nine-minute dose of ragtime that is faithful to the form, with a modernist twist. Matt Perrine's facility on sousaphone is a revelation throughout.

Originally published in May 2000
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