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Nightlife In Tokyo

Eric Alexander

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Album Review

First off, while its title might suggest otherwise, this is not a live album; the CD takes its name from a piece by Eric Alexander's pianist, the veteran Harold Mabern. This is a fitting gesture, as Mabern is a key to this session's many pleasures and has been a mentor to Alexander during the saxophonist's steady rise to the top ranks of his art form. For this December 2002 session, Alexander offers a sustained program of fresh, creative, and advanced hard bop that unequivocally establishes him as a player who is not only fully aware of the tradition, but who is now among those most eminently qualified to develop it further. The consistent high quality of the outing is, naturally, a measure of the cohesion and communication within Alexander's crack quartet. Mabern fuels the performances with a driving, spacious melodicism. Drummer Joe Farnsworth, another Alexander regular, combines crisp precision and flawless creative instincts behind the drum kit. To the session's credit, bassist Ron Carter is not on hand as a special guest, but as a completely integrated member of the rhythm team. He combines especially well with Farnsworth, with playing that is agile, powerful, rich, and vivid. Alexander is a source of endlessly imaginative choruses. Listeners will detect some of George Coleman's incendiary sleight of hand, Wayne Shorter's sidelong phrasing, and Joe Henderson's trenchant, amiable authority in the leader's highly evolved command of the horn. They will also hear Alexander's talent for writing; the five memorable hard bop originals he presents here are destined to become modern classics.

Biography

Born: 1968 in Galesburg, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

A fine straight-ahead jazz saxophonist, Eric Alexander grew up in the state of Washington. He initially attended Indiana University, studying classical music as an altoist. However, he soon discovered jazz, switched to the tenor, and transferred to William Paterson College in New Jersey. After graduating, he moved to Chicago and gained important experience touring with Charles Earland while also becoming a fixture in local clubs. In 1991, Alexander placed second at the Thelonious Monk Institute's...
Full Bio
Nightlife In Tokyo, Eric Alexander
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  • $16.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 17 June 2003

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