A flowing, uninhibited approach could describe Clipper Anderson's bass playing. With impressive technical flourishes and lyrical phrasing, the Seattle veteran stands front-and-center on his trio release The Road Home. Joined by equally dynamic band mates, pianist Darin Clendenin and drummer Mark Ivester, Anderson explores not only his capacities as a performer but also his range as a composer and arranger. The disc features many of Anderson's original pieces with soulful, accessible traits, including the beautiful straight eighth ballad "Can You Meet Me There?" and "Two Rivers," with a low-end bass track and an overdubbed melody/solo.
The trio is augmented on Anderson's Brazilian flavored "Esperanšoso Destino" with fiery percussion from Jeff Busch and expert vocalese from Greta Matassa. "Jimnopodie," composed by the late pianist Jack Brownlow, a mentor of Anderson, delivers convincing, heartfelt interaction between trio members. The tune nurtures a quiet intensity with memorable solos.
A pair of Bill Evans pieces bookend the disc. The first is the challenging "Twelve Tone Tune Two," paying homage to the late pianist and bassist Eddie Gomez. The session closer, "Only Child" features Anderson vocalizing on Roger Schore's lyrics.