It may have been Charlie Parker's alto that first brought the saxophone into the elite jazz club previously occupied by the trumpet, piano and drums but today it is certainly the tenor sax that has equaled them in popularity and, in many ways become jazz's "glory instrument." Thought of as hard driving and masculine thanks to the pioneering work of Trane and others of his ilk, the instrument also has a softer side and is perfectly suited to rendering tunes at a slower tick of the metronome with sensitivity and tenderness. Eric Alexander makes his first foray on HighNote Records into the hallowed halls of the "ballad record," and joins the ranks of such tenor balladeers as Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Houston Person, Dexter Gordon, Stanley Turrentine, Hank Mobley and countless others. But this is not your mother's ballad record. Eric has avoided the "Body and Soul's" of the past and selected an interesting and varied program of music that will interest and please even the most seasoned of jazz collectors. From "Dinner for One Please, James," a duet with Harold Mabern's two-fisted piano stylings, to Trane's "Central Park West," the art of the ballad elicits from Eric Alexander, that paragon of assertiveness, a thoughtful sensitivity that is all the more effective for being so surprising.
ERIC ALEXANDER, tenor sax • Harold Mabern, piano • Jon Webber, bass • Joe Farnsworth, drums
TRACKS: Touching • Gone Too Soon • The Way She Makes Me Feel • Dinner for One Please, James • Central Park West • I'm Glad There Is You • The September of My Years • Oh Girl
The Way She Makes Me Feel
Central Park West