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by Dan Bilawsky
Extension Deadline isn't the first organ-based date that trumpeter Alex Norris put together. It is, however, the first one to see the light of day. In the liner notes for this satisfying quartet outing, Norris notes that he recorded an organ-centric record in the '90s, but that record was shelved. So it is with great satisfaction that he sees this record to its release on the BJU Records imprint. While Norris has been a fixture on the ...read more
by George Colligan
[ Editor's Note: The following interview is reprinted from George Colligan's blog, Jazztruth]When I was a young middle school trumpet player in Columbia, MD, Alex Norris was kind of a musical legend around Howard County. Not only was he arguably the best trumpeter in the state, but he could play funk electric bass, and he could also play guitar like Jimi Hendrix! We both attended Peabody Conservatory together, and Norris was highly responsible for much of my musical ...read more
by David A. Orthmann
Norris’ first date as a leader is indebted to the spectrum of hard bop sounds of the 50s and 60s. Within the wide parameters of this genre, the trumpeter’s compositions are showing signs of individuality, such as “Ontology,” a funk-jazz tune, which stays in the groove despite the absence of an obvious back beat. A cunning improviser who occasionally reveals the influence of Miles Davis, Norris never struggles with the instrument, and forsakes long, complicated phrases in favor of short, ...read more