David Hazeltine: The Classic Trio Meets Eric Alexander (2002)
Audio samples from this mainstream quartet recording are available at David Hazeltine's web site . Straight ahead and always keeping the tradition alive, the pianist's trio complements Eric Alexander and adds sparkling interlude passages of its own. A healthy mix of originals and popular songs gives the session variety. Remember Jimmy Webb's "Didn't We"? Who can forget the lovely ballad that anchored most nightclub sessions some time ago? Hazeltine and Alexander interpret the classic song within the tradition, but with fresh ears. The pianist, in particular, has a pleasant way of pumping up the selection without being forceful. It's a laid-back session that romps with toe-tappin' energy. That's the mainstream: smooth on the surface with all kinds of goings-on inside. Hazeltine has a crisp technique that enhances Alexander's features. Of course, the stellar bassist and drummer are partly responsible for this album's success. The classic trio is a tight unit with sensible tastes. The tenor saxophonist keeps things running smoothly, both on up-tempo romps and slow ballads. As long as the mainstream has allies such as this, its swingin' tradition isn't about to fade anytime soon.
Track Listing: On the Boulevard; O Grande Amor; Jessica's Night; Hayes' Phase; Knocks Me Off My Feet; East of the Sun; Didn't We; Our Delight.
Personnel: David Hazeltine- piano; Peter Washington- bass; Louis Hayes- drums; Eric Alexander- tenor saxophone.