Tales Episode 02: Jay Anderson

Jay Anderson bio on All About Jazz starts off with “Bassist/composer Jay Anderson is among the most versatile and respected jazz artists performing today.”

Whenever we read reviews or comments about artists’ ability, sometime we come away with the feeling that the words were embellished to create the sensational that so often is a part of public relations. But in this case they are completely true and somewhat of an understatement.

For me and I’m sure for countless others, when it comes to actually working with someone who’s touted as being the most versatile and respected jazz artist performing today, or is bedrock, unfailingly solid and dependable, one gets the feeling that the description doesn’t quite do justice to that person. Great attempt, and somewhere in the ballpark, but definitely not a home run. I am truly blessed and honored to know and work with this extraordinary musician, bassist Jay Anderson.

I met Jay about 12 years back while on the road with Michael Franks. In addition to being remarkably talented, creative and sensitive when playing with Jay you also get the feeling that you can trust him completely in being in the moment and being prepared for whatever present itself. One of things I love about Jay and what bonded me to him, is his incredible sense of humor and the remarkable way he tells stories. (It’s all in the delivery, folks). He demonstrates with his life, that he is as solid, comforting, intriguing and honest as his playing. He has shown time after time, he generosity both on and off stage and what it means to be a professional, to be prepared and to be completely present, no matter what the venue.

If you ‘google’ Mr. Anderson you will find plenty to read about him and his incredible career.

Visit his website www.jayandersonbass.com

“Jay Anderson is bedrock, unfailingly solid and dependable, with amazing ability as a soloist and a capacity for rhythmic interplay. He isn’t just a functional bass player. He’s always part of the ensemble while driving it forward.”      Ted Panken

About Jay Anderson

Bassist/composer Jay Anderson is among the most versatile and respected jazz artists performing today. Born in 1955 in Southern California, Anderson began playing acoustic bass at the age of 12. Throughout junior high, high school, and college, Anderson won numerous awards for excellence in both jazz and classical music. One week after receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Performance from California State University at Long Beach, Anderson was asked to join the Woody Herman Orchestra. After touring with the “Herd” for a year, he was called by Carmen McRae and performed with the legendary singer for the next two years.

In 1982 Anderson made the decision to move to New York City. Since moving East, he has continued to perform and record with some of the most important names in jazz. Anderson has been a regular member in the bands of Red Rodney & Ira Sullivan, Michael Brecker, Toots Thielemans, Bob Mintzer, Michael Franks, Eliane Elias, Bennie Wallace, Lew Tabackin, Steve Khan, Lynne Arriale, and was with Joe Sample from 1992 to 2006.

Anderson takes pride in his versatility and openness to different types of music. He has been featured on over 300 recordings, including work with Paul Bley, Randy Brecker, Bob Berg, Vic Juris, Mike Stern, Seamus Blake, Oz Noy, Adam Nussbaum, Donald Byrd, Terumasa Hino, Joe Lovano, Mark Soskin, Lee Konitz, Warren Bernhardt, Dalia Faitelson, Frank Kimbrough, Dave Stryker, Steve Slagle, Garry Dial, Dick Oatts, Andy LaVerne, Frank Wess, Walt Weiskopf, Phil Markowitz, Joe Locke, Joey Calderazzo, Bob Sheppard, Tiger Okoshi, George Cables, Jay Clayton, Rich Perry, David Witham, Charles Blenzig, Jeremy Monteiro, Yosuke Yamashita, Mark Isaacs, and many others. He has performed with the big bands of Kenny Wheeler, Bob Mintzer, Bob Belden, Mel Lewis, Toshiko Akiyoshi, George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band, WDR Köln (Germany), and the critically acclaimed Maria Schneider Orchestra whose 2004 release “Concert In The Garden” won the Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album. He also performed on Maria’s 2007 release “Sky Blue” that won a Grammy for Best Instrumental Composition, “Cerulean Skies”.

Anderson has also done numerous jingles and non-jazz recordings with Frank Zappa, Tom Waits, Chaka Khan, Michel Legrand, legendary poet Allen Ginsberg, and the Grammy Award winning 1997 Record of the Year “Falling Into You”  by Celine Dion.

In addition to being a highly sought-after sideman, Anderson is a proven voice in his own right. His two original recordings on the DMP label, “NEXT EXIT” and “LOCAL COLOR” have received critical acclaim both in the U.S. and abroad.

Jay Anderson biography from All About Jazz
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Tales from the Jazzside