Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

9

Eric Alexander: Song of No Regrets

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Eric Alexander, who has been wielding as impressive a tenor saxophone as anyone on the scene for more than two decades, returns to the studio for what seems the umpteenth time with an abundant stockpile of point-blank pleasures on Song of No Regrets, an essentially Latin-grooved session that leaves room on the first two numbers for the superlative trumpet work of guest artist Jon Faddis.

One of Alexander's strengths, and perhaps the one that has caused him to be so consistently underrated when the talk turns to contemporary tenor masters, is that he makes everything seem so implausibly easy. The technique and fluency are such that there's literally nothing Alexander can't do on his horn. Ballads? No one plays them with more warmth and understanding. Barn-burners? No tempo is too rapid to outpace his dexterous fingers. As for solos, Alexander's are models of perception and tastefulness. Oh, and he also composes ("Grinder," "Corazon Perdido," "Boom Zoom"), arranges and even plays organ on Stevie Wonder's "These Three Words."

Even with Faddis lending a Diz-inspired hand (open on pianist David Hazeltine's "But Here's the Thing," muted and open on "Three Words"), Alexander leaves no doubt who's in charge, soloing with his customary power, perception and panache while "backing" himself with some emphatic organ phrases on "Three Words." Buoyant Latin rhythms are predominant on "Grinder," "Mas Que Nada" and "Boom Zoom," a framework that is enriched by the splendid talents of percussionist Alex Diaz. Sergio Mendes' "Song of No Regrets," a soulful ballad, shows Alexander's tender side, then it's back to swinging as usual on drummer Joe Farnsworth's shuffling "Cede's Shack" and Jimmy Webb's classic "Up, Up and Away," introduced by the Fifth Dimension in 1967 (and never sounding better, even without Marilyn McCoo on board).

As always, Alexander is afforded a wide comfort zone by his longtime colleagues and friends Hazeltine, Farnsworth and bassist John Webber, and as always, he makes the most of it. In the perennial sweepstakes among straight-ahead small-group sessions, Song of No Regrets is a clear and decisive prize winner.

Track Listing: But Here’s the Thing; These Three Words; Grinder; Mas Que Nada; Boom Zoom; Song of No Regrets; Cede’s Shack; Up, Up and Away.

Personnel: Eric Alexander: tenor saxophone, organ (2); Jon Faddis: trumpet (1, 2); David Hazeltine: piano; John Webber: bass; Joe Farnsworth: drums; Alex Diaz: conga, bongos, auxiliary percussion.

Title: Song of No Regrets | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: HighNote Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Satoko Fujii Solo CD/LP/Track Review Satoko Fujii Solo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 17, 2018
Read when the shade is stretched CD/LP/Track Review when the shade is stretched
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2018
Read The Influencing Machine CD/LP/Track Review The Influencing Machine
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Presence CD/LP/Track Review Presence
by Geannine Reid
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Flaneur CD/LP/Track Review Flaneur
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 16, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 16, 2018
Read "Long Haul" CD/LP/Track Review Long Haul
by Paul Rauch
Published: December 22, 2017
Read "Moon Trio: Earth-Time" CD/LP/Track Review Moon Trio: Earth-Time
by Marithe Van der Aa
Published: February 9, 2017
Read "Some Great Songs Vol. 2" CD/LP/Track Review Some Great Songs Vol. 2
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 6, 2017
Read "Provenance" CD/LP/Track Review Provenance
by Geno Thackara
Published: November 11, 2017
Read "High Time" CD/LP/Track Review High Time
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 26, 2017
Read "Syzygy" CD/LP/Track Review Syzygy
by Paul Rauch
Published: March 6, 2017