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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

CD Review: Eric Alexander - Leap of Faith

Eric Alexander (tenor sax); Doug Weiss (double bass); Johnathan Blake (drums). 
(Review by Chris)  

The last of my “Three Tenors” recent releases to review  - another chordless sax trio - this time from three top players from NYC,  the latest of 40+ albums led by Eric Alexander. This one is a bit of a departure, where Alexander’s usual “burnished” post-bop style is pushed into a freer direction.   The pianoless trio is a tough act to pull off, and there is direct comparison to be had here with my last listening, the UK sax trio led by ToriFreestone .

I have to say I found the UK outfit more to my liking – lighter, more variety, more tuneful, more listenable. That’s not to say there isn’t very fine playing here, muscular, elegant and energetic, with superb contributions from Weiss and Blake – the drumming interludes particularly invigorating.  

Overall the sound of the trio is somewhat austere, but there is variety to be found in the tempo and feel nonetheless.  The album opens energetically with Luquitas, with frenzied but precise flurries of tenor, with similar passionate style on Hard Blues and Frenzy, jet-propelled by Weiss and Blake.  More mellow and melodic are Corazon Perdito and Big Richard, the latter for his late father. 
  
Overall, probably one for the student of the tenor, and even there, Alexander is up against stiff competition in NYC from Chris Potter, Jerry Bergonzi and Donny McCaslin!   

Next up on the tenor front, Vasilis Xenopoulos on Thursday at Sage Gateshead with a far from piano-less outfit – on the contrary -  Dr. Edis is on hand to bring austerity to a long-awaited end!  
Chris Kilsby 
Release date: May 17,  Giant Step Arts  

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