How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Consider this fact. In 1991, Eric Alexander finished second to Joshua Redman at the Thelonious Monk Institute's saxophone competition. Joshua is now one of jazz's reigning hot-shot young lions while Eric remains a virtual unknown. Who said life is fair? If there is any justice, Man With A Horn should correct this problem. Working hand in hand with veteran jazz pianist Cedar Walton, this collection of standards and originals is loaded with warmth, lyricism and sparkling interplay. Alexander's husky, breathy tenor remains the dominant voice, but sidemen Dwayne Burno (bass) and Joe Farnsworth (drums) also play a vital role in the proceedings. Guest artists Jim Rotondi (trumpet) and Steve Davis (trombone) are added to the mix on three tunes. The title track is stunningly beautiful; Walton's Fiesta Espanola is heated and passionate; and Eric's tribute to the late Eddie Harris (Unsung Hero) is appropriately funky. A Grade "A" effort all the way! ***