A few of his favorites

MARSHALL – Local musician Ross Anderson said he had a lot of decisions to make when he wanted to put out a CD – from the packaging to the cover art to the music itself.

But he’s happy with how the final product came out.

Anderson, of Marshall, recently released his debut CD “JazzTime,” which is available at Music Street, the Marshall Area Fine Arts Council’s arts center and Last Stop CD Shop. The CD was made possible by a grant from the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council, with funds appropriated by the McKnight Foundation. The songs also feature Pete Lothringer on guitar.

“This CD is truly a collaboration with Pete Lothringer,” Anderson said in the CD’s liner notes. “It would not have been possible without his superb guitar playing and musical creativity.”

Anderson grew up in Chicago and started playing clarinet at age 9.

“I started when I saw clarinetist Pete Fountain on TV,” Anderson said. “It was an inspiration.” Anderson started on the saxophone at 13.

Another inspiration, Anderson said, was his father’s collection of Dixieland jazz records.

Anderson lived in the Twin Cities for several years, playing off and on with different bands, before moving with his family to Marshall in 1998. He is the principal clarinet player for the Southwest Minnesota Orchestra, performs with the Route 68 Big Band and other local groups.

A decade ago, Anderson began performing with Lothringer.

“Pete and I started playing together in 2003,” Anderson said. “The album is a collection of tunes we’ve been playing off and on for the past 10 years.” Anderson said this represents the favorite tunes the duo plays.

Anderson said he wanted a variety of songs on the CD. It includes Latin music, ballads, a waltz with “Some Day My Prince Will Come,” blues and a traditional New Orleans jazz number.

Anderson also has one original composition on the CD – “Super Bossa.”

“It’s a Latin jazz tune loosely based on the chord progression for ‘Girl from Ipanema,'” Anderson said. “It just came out of the improvising of that tune.”

The CD is improvisational jazz, Anderson said.

“The concept is to start with a known melody, then to create your own melody based on at the rhythms and the harmonies of the original tune,” Anderson said.

The CD was recorded at Pulse River Studio in Beresford, S.D., a studio that Lothringer had used in the past. Anderson said the CD was recorded in June and August.

“It amounted to 16 hours of studio time,” Anderson said. That includes editing, mixing and the tweaks, he said. “It was recorded live. It was recorded as much as we would perform it anywhere.”

Local artists had a hand in the CD’s design and artwork. Joel McKinney did the cover design; Cat Abbot did the art and Randy Schultz had taken the cover photo.

“I’m excited about the packaging,” Anderson said.

Anderson said the reason he put together the CD was to have a record of what Lothringer and he have done in the last decade. With jazz music, it never gets written down, Anderson said.

“It’s a legacy in a sense,” Anderson said about “JazzTime.”