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Hearkening back to the classic '60s Blue Note-style jazz sextets popularized by drummer Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, One for All is one of the foremost mainstream jazz ensembles to come out of the '90s. A super-group of straight-ahead jazz names, the group technically formed in 1997 for a gig at the storied New York City club Small's in Greenwich Village. However, the seeds of the group go back to 1988, when the then up-and-coming young lions trumpeter Jim Rotondi, tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander, and drummer Joe Farnsworth all met while gigging in New York City. Later, Farnsworth introduced former-Jazz Messenger trombonist Steve Davis into the fold. In 1996, pianist David Hazeltine and bassist Peter Washington signed on, and One for All was born. Billed as One for All featuring Eric Alexander — an obvious reflection of the growing popularity of the talented reedman — the group released its debut album, Too Soon to Tell on Sharp Nine in 1997. Subsequent releases, including 2003's Wide Horizons, focused less on any single member, better reflecting the communal ethos of the band.
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