Wednesday, October 30, 2013

                     Don't Miss This Special Event!

This show is happening on Friday night, November 8th as part of The Late Night Groove Series at The Blue Note in NYC. It starts at 12:30 AM and admission is only $15! Take a Nap if you have to and be ready to hang with us for what I know will be a memorable event!  

                              Here's the link for tickets - 

Saturday, July 6, 2013



I have some nice experiences and interesting ideas to share with you since my last post starting with my recent trip to Stockholm, Sweden.  My friend, the acclaimed Swedish tenor saxophonist Jonas Kullhammar  
Jonas Kullhammar
asked me if I'd like to 
be in a movie with him. He told me the scene we would shoot depicts a set at the famous Montmartre Jazz Club in Copenhagen, circa 1963. Jonas wrote some hip music for the scene. We've been trying to find opportunities to play together since we met back in the mid 2000's, so I was immediately interested. What better opportunity than to film a scene "live", in a movie that by all accounts will be a major release in Europe in 2014! Hopefully it will be successful in the United States as well.


The movie is titled Gentlemen and Gangsters. It is the film adaptation of the highly successful novel, Gentlemen (pictured above). The author Klas Ostergren also wrote the screenplay. Gentlemen is considered one of the most important literary works to come out of Sweden in the last century. You can read a synopsis of the film by clicking this link:


I really liked working with the director   Mikael Marcimain, especially after he gave me a brief speaking part (let's hope it doesn't make the cutting room floor)! 

Mikael Marcimain

Mikael is known for his attention to detail. We started at 11 am and wrapped up at 10:30 pm for a 3 minute scene! It was a hot and smoke filled environment with little ventilation. Everything was done to preserve historical accuracy. It wasn't easy as we we filmed the performance live, with lots of takes - but a really fun experience. The scene was shot at The TeaterStudio Lederman with Jonas, myself and a fine Swedish rhythm section: Mathias Landaeus - piano, Sjostedt Martin - bass and Moussa Fadera - drums.
Here a some stills from the shoot.

 from L to Rt: Lead actor- David Dencik, Jonas Kullhammar, Mathias Landaeus, Sjostedt Martin, Moussa Fadera, Clifton Anderson and author - Klas Ostergren

Gentlemen and Gangsters is scheduled for release late 2014


And So We Carry On is referred to in the June 2013 issue of Jazz Inside Magazine by Eric Harabadian as "A modern Jazz essential"!  If you haven't added this to your collection yet - now's the time .... click here

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In 1977 I was attending The Manhattan School of Music studying trombone with the late great Metropolitan Opera trombonist John Clark. I remember John mentioning he had a female student that was a tremendous player. Like me she also played Jazz around NYC (Manhattan School Of Music didn't have a Jazz ciriculum at that time). Not long after that conversation took place I got a call from Janice Robinson, the player John had spoken of. Janice told me that the great Jazz trombonist and arranger Slide Hampton was putting together a trombone choir and was looking for trombonists that could qualify. I got the rehearsal info and showed up. I didn't know any of the other trombone players there with the exception of Steve Turre. I had met Steve briefly at The Village Gate at a fundraiser for WRVR (the premier jazz station in NYC at that time). Steve was playing with the late great Rahsaan Roland Kirk that night.

Both The Village Gate and WRVR are long gone but not forgotten. 

Slide named the group     The World Of Trombones. Members of the original World Of Trombones were Janice Robinson, Steve Turre, Clifford Adams, Earl McIntyre, Doug Purviance, Papo Vasquez, Bill Ohashi and myself. I brought a fellow trombonist from Manhattan School along with me to the rehearsal named Danny Borgen. I remember Danny played one gig with us but he didn't stay in the group. I believe he may have been replaced by Clarence Banks
In 1979 The World of Trombones went into the studio to do the bands first recording for West 54 records. The recording is available on iTunes. Unfortunately I didn't play on the recording. I had to honor a prior commitment to another group I was working with to go on the road. By the time the record date was pinned down I couldn't get out of the obligation. I still regret missing that date. 

purchase here

Slide Hampton's vision and development of The World Of Trombones is an important part of music history that cannot be overstated. Slide's arrangements for this group are among some of his best work - check out his timeless arrangement of J.J.Johnson's Lament. The group also brought together the best younger players with some incredible veterans including, the late great Britt Woodman, Benny Powell and the great Curtis Fuller. This group had a profound affect on the evolution of Jazz trombonists and trombone playing. The level of performance that Slide required from us was always challenging. In fact we often got our egos checked. Another great thing about this group has been it's legacy. Through the years Slide has evolved the arrangements and the players. The original group morphed into an ever shifting amalgam of trombonists - Frank Lacy, Robin Eubanks, Bob Trowers and Conrad Herwig soon signed on. We always had stellar rhythm sections with people like Buster Williams, the late great Albert Dailey, Clint Houston and Hilton Ruiz - Idris Muhammad, Michael Carvin, Ray Drummond and Kevin Eubanks (among others). From it's early beginnings to the present each of the trombone players that have come through The World Of Trombones owe Slide Hampton a debt of thanks. It was difficult keeping a group like this together for various reasons. Although we each have moved into our own careers, the foundation Slide Hampton and The World Of Trombones instilled in us remains invaluable.

Slide Hampton and Clifton

Slide Hampton is one of my major musical mentors. 

Slide was responsible for introducing me to the legendary J.J. Johnson in 1979. He arranged for me to attend Jay's record date at Fantasy Studios in California. J.J. stepped back into the studio after a hiatus of 7 years to record "Pinnacles". That record date was also the first time I met Joe Henderson and Tommy Flanagan.

A Happy Re-union

I performed at a Jazz Vespers in Newark, and during the "meet and greet", a woman came up to me and said I made her think of Slide Hampton when I played. Her name is Nurah Johnson, a Reiki & Karuna practitioner in NJ. I told her Slide was a mentor of mine and how I hadn't been in touch with him for some time. She walked off and moments later returned handing me her phone. It was Slide on the phone! We spoke and I asked him if he would like a visit from Steve, Janice and myself for a couple hours. Janice, Steve and I had been talking about going to see Slide for some time. We just wanted to have a nice visit, make sure he was OK and to let him know how much he has meant to us. Slide wanted to see us also. 
Doug Purviance arranged the visit and got in touch with Robin Eubanks. Although we were talking about doing this for some time the actual meeting happened on pretty short notice. That's why more trombonists weren't present. It turned out to be a very emotional and heartwarming re-union.

L to R: Janice Robinson, Robin Eubanks, Doug Purviance, Fearless Leader Slide Hampton, Clifton Anderson and Steve Turre

Slide is playing and writing. He showed us several scores he's working on. He is also interested in giving lessons and doing some master classes. Maybe at some point we might have a full re-union of The World Of Trombones - with playing! For now we should start planning a fantastic tribute event for one of our greatest living Jazz artists.


I'm planning to bring The Boneyard Trombone Workshops to Brooklyn at IBeam Studios on July 17th and 31st. These workshops are geared to give the attendees tips on all aspects of their playing. They are open to all levels but you should have some basics under your belt to participate. I hope to see you there!


Promoters and Booking Agents: 
I am now performing with my quintet in support of "And So We Carry On" to enthusiastic and appreciative audiences everywhere we play! Please reach me through my website for further info.

If you like my blog please share the link with your friends, and feel free to leave your comments below -

Till next time ..........

Sunday, June 9, 2013


photo courtesy: John Abbott

It's been a while since I've updated my blog. Sorry for the delay. There are a lot of exciting things on the horizon to report ...


A successful CD release party at The Iridium in NYC featured my stellar working group;                                      Donald Vegapiano, Essiet Essiet - bass, Steve Williams - drums and Frank Fontaine - tn.& sop.saxes (in for Eric Wyatt). We fired up the club! Warren Wolf - vibes, Steve Kroon -  perc., Tadataka Unno - piano and the one and only Bob Cranshaw - bass were my special guests. It was an exciting, rewarding celebration and worth all the hard work put into the event. Lots of dear friends came out to see us - I sincerely appreciate your ongoing support! Thanks to Todd Barkan and to everyone for the wonderful turn out and for being such an enthusiastic audience! We will return there in the fall.

Tadataka Unno, Clifton, Essiet, Steve & Frank

Bob Cranshaw, Steve Kroon & Steve Williams

Essiet Essiet & Warren Wolf

Clifton,Donald Vega & Frank Fontaine

   Clifton Anderson    
                                                  photos courtesy of: Eldon Phillips


And So We Carry On continues to get great reviews! The latest review by Eric Harabadian in the current June, 2013 issue of Jazz Inside Magazine describes And So We Carry On as "a modern jazz essential". We agree that it's certainly one for your collection. If you don't already own a copy, you can get one by clicking on this link. 

        To listen to the title track- Click on the link below:                      

If for some reason you've never heard us live, here's an audio clip I recently found from a sold out show we did at Dizzy's Club Coca Cola, NYC back in 2010. We perform the standard I'm Old Fashioned.  

Stephen Scott-pn., Eric Wyatt-tn.sax, Russel Blake-bs., Clifton Anderson and Steve Williams-dr.


During the last few months, I got the chance to do some live in studio "On Air" time with friends on four different stations. For those who may not know, WBGO 88.3 FM is the premier jazz radio station in the New York area, and some would argue the world.

Gary Walker and Clifton 

Gary Walker - Program Director for WBGO is a good friend I've known for some time. It's always a pleasure seeing him and discussing life and music at the station, even if it means getting up at 6:30 in the morning! Gary wrote some great liner notes for And So We Carry On (a good reason why the physical CD is better than a download).

I was also interviewed by Michael G. Haskins on WBAI 99.5 FM. I'm a big fan of WBAI's programming and I've listened to Michael and many of the informative programs on the station for years. I was really hyped to sit down with  Michael. We spent some time sharing ideas and my music with the listeners. Michael really connected to my message of empowerment and hope in the music of And So We Carry OnHe used it to help uplift people during the challenges of Hurricane Sandy.

Clifton and Michael G. Haskins

 DrShaka Zulu from WHCR 90.3FM  The Official True School Radio Show, covers a wide range of music and topics significant to African-Amercan culture. I always look forward to going on this show because I never know who might be in studio with me and what questions DrShaka Zulu might ask. It's always engaging radio. This time I hung out with DrShaka and Afrika Bambaataa discussing politics, current events and showcasing some of the music from And So We Carry On.
DrShaka Zulu

Sharif Abdus-Salaam hosts "Jazz Alternatives" on WKCR 89.9 FM every Thursday night from 6 to 9 pm. It's the longest running Jazz radio program in New York City! I am always honored to appear on Sharif's program as he has had the distinction of interviewing greats like Art Blakey, Charles Mingus and Max Roach among others. Sharif tells it like it is, and is a true Jazz aficionado. Besides being one of our great radio personalities Sharif is also involved with a wonderful organization - VTY Jazz Productions.They present exceptional Jazz concerts throughout the Tri-state area with some of the best in the business.

Sharif Abdus-Salaam




I'll be heading over to Stockholm, Sweden to participate in a movie entitled Gentlemen & Gangsters with the acclaimed Swedish tenor saxophonist Jonas Kullhammar. Stay tuned for more on this. It should be an exciting experience and I'm looking forward to being in Stockholm and seeing Jonas again.

Jonas Kullhammar

Hope to see you at these events over the summer. The list is increasing so please check my website: for updates.

June 14 - 19...Stockholm, Sweden
June 29...Jazz VespersMemorial West United Presbyterian Church - Newark, NJ
July 25 - 28...The Jazz Standard w/ Wallace Roney
August 3...Bethesda Maryland w/ Wallace Roney 
August 6...FSCO Workshop - Bronx, NY
August 10...The Beanrunner Cafe - Peekskill, NY
September 6 & 7...Smalls Jazz Club, NYC


In my next Blog I'll talk about the reunion with Slide Hampton and some of the original members of The World Of Trombones. 

Look forward to more interactive discussions on topics about music, the industry and how business is affecting art. 

Till Then .........

Saturday, March 30, 2013



Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Modified cover - Jazz Inside Magazine - December 2012


And So We Carry On has been listed by Jazz Inside Magazine as "One of the Top CD's of 2012" and continues to earn strong critical reviews.

New Jazz Times Review

And So We Carry On is available on Itunes, CD Baby, Amazon and Rhapsody for download
My website is the only place you can get the physical copy with this great artwork. And get a bonus track from me when you download the full CD from my website.

 I am working on making appearances with my working band in January and into the new year so stay tuned for my performance postings and be sure to come out to see and hear us. You'll be glad you did.

“Clifton, you and the band played an amazing show – it is literally the talk of the town, and every single band member was warm, open, and incredibly generous as you all mingled with the patrons after the performance. This was way more than a concert, it was a real connection between people through music. Thanks for your beautiful music and for your very special presence here!”

Sean Hunley/Artistic Director –
The Center At Eagle Hill - Hardwick, MA

Eric Wyatt , Steve Williams, Me, (Donald Vega, Essiet Essiet - not pictured)


I just played at a nice little venue in Peekskill, NY called The Beanrunner Cafe. The owners - Ted and Drew are great people and work hard to bring quality artists to Peekskill. The Beanrunner is becoming a recognized "Jazz Destination" for musicians and the public in upstate New York. Be sure to check them out.


I recently played some concerts with Sonny Rollins in Europe. The band included Bob Cranshaw, Saul Rubin, Sammy Figueroa, Kobie Watkins and myself.

First stop was Vienna, Austria where we played at the prestigious Weiner Konzerthaus
Of course Vienna has a rich musical and cultural history in Europe, reflected in the people's appreciation for music of all genres. Very warm reception from the people and promoter Peter Polansky. I hope to play there again soon.

Then it was on to Prague, Czech Republic once known as Bohemia and one of the oldest European cities. We played at The Lucerna Hall.

Leverkusen,Germany and Luxumbourg followed.

Clockwise: Road manager -John Nave (his back to you), sound engineer- Richard Corsello, guitarist- Saul Rubin, percussionist - Sammy Figueroa, road assistant- Nick Myers, drummer- Kobie Watkins and bassist- Bob Cranshaw

We were in Europe for almost a month and the trip gave me the opportunity to play some good music in some beautiful concert halls and see some friends I haven't caught up with for a while.

I got to hang with my good friend Patrick Simek. Patrick is from Zurich but he attended the show in London at The Barbican.

Me with Patrick Simek

Patrick has seen many Sonny Rollins shows and felt the Barbican performance was one of his better ones. I've known Patrick for quite a few years. He's a saxophonist and Jazz lover, and when he's not hanging out with Chico Freeman he comes to hear us play. We decided to go out and check out some Chinese food at Wong Kei Restaurant. There we rendezvoused with my man Marcos Varela (an exciting young bassist that works with me on occassion) and Fran Hardcastle (a booking agent in the UK I hope to be working with in the near future).

Me, Marcos Varela, Fran Hardcastle and Patrick Simeck

The night of the London show was Sammy Figueroa's Birthday. We had a celebration with friends in the lounge of The Four Seasons Canary Wharf.

pictured left to right: seated Helen Mitchell and friend, Saul Ruben, Me, Patrick Simek,Bob Cranshaw, Sammy "Birthaday Boy" Figueroa, Kobie Watkins, Nick Myers and Jon Nave

Luxembourg is a beautiful wealthy city with lots of very European looking structures (smile) set on multiple levels. Very picturesque mountains and valleys.

In Luxembourg we played at The Philharmonie Luxembourg. A very modern venue.

While in Luxembourg I was able to meet up with my longtime friend Rachel Maucci. I met Rachel when she worked in the Festival office of the Juan les Pins Jazz Festival in Antibes, France where she always took good care of all the musicians performing there. She's a great person and has been a dear friend to both Bob Cranshaw and I for many years. Hope to see you again soon Rachel.

Me, with Rachel Maucci and Bob Cranshaw

Speaking of Bob Cranshaw
Bob Cranshaw celebrated his 80th Birthday on December 10th. He had a great party at the Local 802 musicians union in New York City attended by a who's who of New Yorks Jazz Community.

Bob has been a mentor to me for many years often times guiding me through difficult patches.
Besides being one of the greatest living Jazz Bassists he's also one of my favorite people in the world. I'm sure there are many others that would say similar things about him. He plays on 4 tracks of And So We Carry On.

My Trombone Logo

In Geneva, Switzerland we played the prestigious Victoria Hall. You can see how ornate the hall is as well as the impressive organ pipes.  

Backstage I met Elisabeth Christeler, the Swiss promoter, and world class photographer George Braunschweig. Two more people I hadn't seen in several years.

with Elisabeth Christeler

with photgrapher George Braunschweig


photos: George Braunschweig

Last but not least is one of my favorite cities - Barcelona, Spain. A port city with lots of great history, culture, food etc. With a strong Jazz audience it's always nice to play there.

If you thought Victoria Hall was ornate take a look at The Palau de la Musica Catalana, particularly the ceiling.

Palau de la Musica

 My friend Wulf Muller was in attendance in Barcelona. Wulf was responsible for signing and managing product for many great Jazz artists with The Universal Music Group. He signed and released my second CD, Decade. He now has a new position with Sony Music doing what he does best - working with artists and developing Sony's new Jazz division.

Wulf Muller and Me


I did a nice interview with Lofton Emanari for his show "What Is This Thing Called Jazz" on WPHK 88.5 FM Chicago. Be sure to tune in and check him out. They stream at

Stage shot from The Vienne Jazz Festival - France

Check in for my Holiday Blog in a week or so. Till then Be Well - And So We Carry On!