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Review by Scott Yanow: Ray Anderson / Marty Ehrlich Quartet - Hear You Say


Trombonist Ray Anderson and Marty Ehrlich (clarinet, tenor, soprano) romp together colorfully on Hear You Say.
Although associated with the avant-garde, trombonist Ray Anderson has long had such a rambunctious and witty approach to playing his horn that his recordings tend to be more accessible than one would expect. Anderson, who has a huge range and brilliant technique, has never been shy to play humorous solos full of ideas that both look back towards the beginnings of jazz and ahead towards its possible future. I would love to hear him in a Dixieland setting someday.
On Hear You Say Anderson, for one of the few times in his career, meets his match. Marty Ehrlich, whether playing alto, soprano or clarinet, also has a full knowledge of jazz styles along with plenty of personality in his playing. With bassist Brad Jones and drummer Matt Wilson adding even more color and swing to the music, Anderson and Ehrlich bring out the best in each other during this concert from 2009.
The music is quite extroverted and, in addition to the solos, has plenty of interplay between Anderson and Ehrlich. Among the highlights of the program (which consists of originals by either of the two horns) are “Portrait Of Leroy Jenkins,” “Hot Crab Pot,” “The Lion’s Tanz” and Anderson’s memorable “Alligatory Rhumba.” The spirited music at various times is swinging, funky and/or quite crazy, always holding on to one’s attention.
This fun set is easily recommended.
Scott Yanow

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