Alex Graham: The Good Life (2005)
Of the six tunes here, two are originals and four are penned by othersWayne Shorter's "It's a Long Way Down," Tadd Dameron's "On a Misty Night," Warren/Gordon's "I Had the Craziest Dream," and the Distal/Reardon gem "The Good Life."
The band sounds particularly inspired on the Shorter piece, a driving up-tempo groove where the rhythm section locks in, with a bounce in its step, behind a sizzling Graham. The leader's original "Push" teases with that previously mentioned flute/alto/clarinet interplay on the intro. It's a fine arrangement, and I wish he'd done some more of this, but it's all alto for the rest of the wayand his snappy "Explosion" sounds like a cooker right off a sixties Blue Note set.
"The Good Life" slows the pace and showcases Graham's ballad playingsweet and soulful, with a contained energy, his finest blowing on the record.
A strong outing from alto saxophonist Alexander Graham.
Track Listing: Push; I Had the Craziest Dream; It's a Long Way Down; The Good Life; Explosion; On a Misty Night.
Personnel: Alex Graham: alto saxophone, flute, clarinet; Rick Roe: piano; Rodney Whitaker: bass; Joe Strasser: drums.
Record Label: Origin Records