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MUSICIAN Born:

Eric Alexander

Boasting a warm, finely burnished tone and a robust melodic and harmonic imagination, tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander has been exploring new musical worlds from the outset. He started out on piano as a six-year-old, took up clarinet at nine, switched to alto sax when he was 12, and converted to tenor when jazz became his obsession during his one year at the University of Indiana, Bloomington (1986-87). At William Paterson College in New Jersey he advanced his studies under the tutelage of Harold Mabern, Joe Lovano, Rufus Reid, and others. "The people I listened to in college are still the cats that are influencing me today," says Alexander

Passion Flower: The Music of Billy Strayhorn

Label: Sunnyside Records
Released: 2020
Track listing: Johnny Come Lately; Lush Life; Rain Check; Star-Crossed Lovers (Pretty Girl); Isfahan (Elf); Chelsea Bridge; Daydream; Passion Flower; U.M.M.G.; Blood Count; Take The A Train; A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing; Absinthe (Lament For An Orchid); Lotus Blossom.

With Strings

Label: HighNote Records
Released: 2020
Track listing: Gently; Dreamsville; Some Other Time; Lonely Woman; Slow, Hot Wind; The Thrill Is Gone.

Mabern Plays Mabern

Label: Smoke Sessions Records
Released: 2020
Track listing: Mr. Johnson; The Iron Man; Lover Man; The Lyrical Cole-Man; Edward Lee; It's Magic; The Beehive; Rakin' and Scrapin'.

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Dena Derose: Keeper Of The Song

Read "Dena Derose: Keeper Of The Song" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke

Dena DeRose has established a reputation as one of the finest jazz singers today—though never exclusively that. As others have done—Shirley Horn, a predecessor, or Karrin Allyson, a contemporary, among others—DeRose, in addition to her alluring voice, is a highly accomplished pianist who accompanies herself. Often that's in a trio setting, but she easily extends it ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

John DiMartino: Passion Flower: The Music of Billy Strayhorn

Read "Passion Flower: The Music of Billy Strayhorn" reviewed by Dr. Judith Schlesinger

Pianist/composer/arranger/producer John DiMartino is a first-call veteran of the New York City jazz scene. This multi-recorded artist has long been a favorite of singers for his gigantic ears and intuitive, uncluttered playing—rare gifts which also enhance any instrumentalist he accompanies or arranges. All of these talents inform DiMartino's splendid Billy Strayhorn tribute, Passion Flower, where he ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Chad Taylor Trio: The Daily Biological

Read "The Daily Biological" reviewed by Giuseppe Segala

Chad Taylor è conosciuto in particolare per essere cofondatore, insieme a Rob Mazurek, del Chicago Underground Duo, con le sue varianti nei diversi ampliamenti degli organici. La sua attività si è dipanata ad ampio raggio negli ultimi trent'anni, facendo fulcro sulla scena di Chicago prima, e di New York poi, collaborando tra l'altro con protagonisti storici, ...

Composer Tributes: Strayhorn, Shorter, Monk and Sam Jones

Read "Composer Tributes: Strayhorn, Shorter, Monk and Sam Jones" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

There always seem to be albums coming out that pay tribute to accomplished jazz composers. Here are some newer ones, three on very familiar names and one on an often overlooked musician. John Di Martino Passion Flower: The Music of Billy Strayhorn Sunnyside Records 2020 Pianist John ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

AuB: AuB

Read "AuB" reviewed by Chris May

Twin-tenor frontlines are almost as old as jazz itself. Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane's meeting on the title track of Rollins' Tenor Madness (Prestige, 1956) may be the starting point for some listeners, but AAJers do not need reminding that the tradition was popular in live performances as far back the 1920s. Later, with the arrival ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

John di Martino: Passion Flower: The Music of Billy Strayhorn

Read "Passion Flower: The Music of Billy Strayhorn" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Composer / arranger Billy Strayhorn was barely twenty-three years old when he first met bandleader Duke Ellington, an encounter that would lead to a collaboration that lasted more than half of Strayhorn's life. During that time, Strayhorn wrote some of the Ellington orchestra's most acclaimed and enduring songs including “Lotus Blossom," “Chelsea Bridge," “Isfahan" and, most ...


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