Acclaimed for his work with his uncle Sonny Rollins, Clifton Anderson is also a trombonist's trombonist and anyone into straightahead jazz pushing hard from the centre will gravitate immediately to his elegant ideas. I'll not provide too many plot spoilers but certainly the album begins solidly and gets better and better before peaking on the standout title track tucked in near the end and ultimately 'Until Me Meet Again' provided even with what sounds like, yip, whistling.
There is a deep cry-in-your-beer and very successful version of Bacharach-David's 'A House is Not A Home' and that's just for starters. Collective personnel listed besides Anderson has saxophone/reedists Rene McLean, Antoine Roney, Eric Wyatt; guitarist Peter Bernstein; keyboardists John F. Adams, Monty Alexander, Stephen Scott, Tadataka Unno; bassists Buster Williams, Tom Barney; drummers Ronnie Burrage, Al Foster, Steve Jordan; percussionists Sammy Figueroa, Victor See Yuen; vocals by Andy Bey and backing vocals from Mala Waldron, Angela Workman and John F. Adams. So plenty of star power there. And of course many of these great players are significant leaders and jazz icons themselves.
'Sonny Says' is a belter, jump in there the water's warm. The interplay with guitarist Peter Bernstein luxuriating near the end on the title track, Clifton's own song, is quite something, and the whole album opens up again into a new dimension not to forget the great Andy Bey contribution that melts in like liquid sunshine. Feeling at home in the tone domain of Been Down This Road Before has definitely made my day. It could very well yours. SG
Out on Ropeadope