All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

302

Eric Alexander: Temple of Olympic Zeus

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
According to the (incomplete) discography at his website, tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander, not yet forty years old, has already recorded more than seventy albums as a sideman, and nearly twenty as leader. He must stand outside recording studios in the morning waiting for the doors to open!



To say that Alexander's perseverance and enthusiasm have paid dividends would be an understatement. One reason he is called upon to perform in so many ensembles of various shapes and sizes is his remarkable consistency. To paraphrase a well-known airline commercial, Alexander loves to play, and it shows.



Although his lexicon is decidedly modern, his propensity to swing in any context and at any tempo is a throwback to such role models as Dexter Gordon, George Coleman, Sonny Rollins and other straight-from-the-hip tenors. He'd have been right at home in those freewheeling Blue Note / Prestige / Riverside sessions from the '50s and '60s.



Temple of Olympic Zeus, whose name was inspired by Alexander's visit to Athens, Greece last year, consists of three original compositions, a brace of standards, Donny Hathaway's "Someday We'll All Be Free, Curtis Montgomery's "Blues for David and Bud Powell's "I'll Keep Loving You. Even though I'm partial to the faster-paced numbers, it must be conceded that Alexander is equally persuasive on the ballad "Some Other Time and the medium-tempo "I'm Gonna Laugh You Right Out of My Life.



Trumpeter Jim Rotondi, a long-time friend and colleague, is an able front-line partner ("Temple, "Dave's System, "Lucas Too"), pianist David Hazeltine (on several of whose albums Alexander has guest-starred) is an adaptable improviser and perceptive accompanist, while the rhythm section (Hazeltine, bassist Nat Reeves, drummer Joe Farnsworth) calmly takes care of business without barking or stepping on anyone's toes.



Like all of Alexander's albums, this is for the hard-core jazz enthusiast and requires one's earnest thought and unwavering attention. If you'd like to hear Alexander help enliven a larger ensemble, check out Danny D'Imperio's Big Band Bloviation, vols. 1 and 2.



This is a splendid example of Alexander's steady maturation as a tenor virtuoso in a more intimate setting. Alexander always comes to play, and always brings fresh and provocative ideas to the table—in this case, the Temple. The gods must surely be pleased.


Track Listing: The Temple of Olympic Zeus; Someday We

Personnel: Eric Alexander: tenor saxophone; Jim Rotondi: trumpet (3), flugelhorn (1, 2, 6); David Hazeltine: piano; Nat Reeves: bass; Joe Farnsworth: drums.

Title: Temple of Olympic Zeus | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: HighNote Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Song of No Regrets

Song of No Regrets

HighNote Records
2017

buy
Second Impression

Second Impression

HighNote Records
2016

buy
The Real Thing

The Real Thing

HighNote Records
2015

buy
Chicago Fire

Chicago Fire

HighNote Records
2014

buy
Touching

Touching

HighNote Records
2013

buy
Friendly Fire

Friendly Fire

HighNote Records
2012

buy

Related Articles

Read Origins CD/LP/Track Review
Origins
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Bright Force CD/LP/Track Review
Bright Force
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Say It CD/LP/Track Review
Say It
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Alchemia Garden CD/LP/Track Review
Alchemia Garden
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Don't You Wish CD/LP/Track Review
Don't You Wish
by Dr. Judith Schlesinger
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Making Other Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Making Other Arrangements
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 19, 2018
Read "Silent Light" CD/LP/Track Review Silent Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 27, 2017
Read "New Horizons" CD/LP/Track Review New Horizons
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 3, 2018
Read "For Those About To Jazz / Rock We Salute You" CD/LP/Track Review For Those About To Jazz / Rock We Salute You
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 11, 2017
Read "Thelonious Sphere Monk" CD/LP/Track Review Thelonious Sphere Monk
by Kevin Press
Published: February 1, 2018
Read "Liberation Narratives" CD/LP/Track Review Liberation Narratives
by Mark Corroto
Published: October 31, 2017
Read "Life Stories" CD/LP/Track Review Life Stories
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 8, 2018