David Bixler, a Racine, Wisconsin native who completed his education at Indiana University, has maintained an active schedule. During his early years in New York, Bixler was chosen as the lead altoist with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra for performances in Europe and the United States. During the 1990s, Bixler was a musician and educator in Barcelona, Spain, where he was much in-demand as both a performer and teacher. Since his return to New York eleven years ago, Bixler has established himself as a freelance musician. During this period, he also toured with the Toshiko Akiyoshi and Duke Ellington Orchestrasand since 1999, he has been the lead alto saxophonist for the Chico O'Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra.
It was during this time that Bixler began playing (and recording) with trumpeter Scott Wendholt, guitarist John Hart and drummer Andy Watson. His first album, Lost in Queens, appeared in 2000 and the followup, Show Me the Justice, was released in 2003. Call It A Good Deal has been released by the Zoho label, which covers music from the downtown New York jazz scene.
These eight tunes are all original Bixler compositions that vary in tempo but all seem to have just a hint of the edgy Zoho sound. The highlights of the album are Scott Wendholt's clear trumpet solos and the work of guitarist John Hart. On "Scratch and Sniff The Jive," Hart uncharacteristically begins with a thrash rock statement and then, during his solo, he discovers his "inner Hendrix." The last three tracks provide the best moments on the album. On the aforementioned "Scratch and Sniff The Jive," Bixler uncorks his best solo of the session, and the ballad "He Cries Every Day" finds Bixler, Wendholt and Hart showing their best combined effort.
Personnel: David Bixler: alto saxophone; Scott Wendholt: trumpet; John Hart: guitar; Ugonna Ugekwo:
bass; Andy Watson: drums.