146

David Hazeltine: The Classic Trio Meets Eric Alexander

C. Andrew Hovan By

Sign in to view read count
David Hazeltine: The Classic Trio Meets Eric Alexander Honing his skills to such a degree that it all sounds deceptively easy, David Hazeltine’s art is always in danger of being misunderstood because it’s not radically too far to the left or right. In other words, he’s a mainstream player working within the tradition. But you know it seems that these days you have to be weird or young to get any press, so Hazeltine often gets lost in the shuffle. And that’s a shame because if hard bop is your bag, it simply doesn’t get any better than this. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a tighter piano trio than the one heard here. But then add Eric Alexander, and the sparks couldn’t help but fly.

The selection of tunes is typically inspired, with a balance between originals and standards, although standards are any thing but that after Hazeltine lifts his creative pen and does some handiwork. The pop ditty here (in the lineage of “Betcha By Golly Wow,” “I Say a Little Prayer,” etc.) is Stevie Wonder’s “Knocks Me Off My Feet” and Louis Hayes’ backbeat shuffle sets just the right tone for what sounds like a natural jazz tune. Jimmy Webb’s “Didn’t We” also seems to be so ripe for rediscovery in this context, Alexander’s husky voice literally taking center stage, thanks to Mike Marciano’s luminescent engineering.

Dave’s two original lines are classy and hook-laden affairs that seem to bring out the best in everyone. “On the Boulevard,” in particular, finds Hazeltine and Alexander voicing the melody in a way that is so together they literally seem to breathe as one. Solo space is distributed equitably for all to partake, with “Hayes’ Phase” including a lengthy spot from the drummer. Washington is a model of strength as usual and his bass is recorded with just enough depth to get a ‘bottom’ across but as to not muddy things up entirely. Only one question here really- is a rematch planned for 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 sax)

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Sharp Nine Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


comments powered by Disqus

Shop

More Articles

Read This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People CD/LP/Track Review This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Nigerian Spirit CD/LP/Track Review Nigerian Spirit
by James Nadal
Published: May 29, 2017
Read The Colours Suite CD/LP/Track Review The Colours Suite
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Les Liasons Dangereuses 1960 CD/LP/Track Review Les Liasons Dangereuses 1960
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Chapter Five CD/LP/Track Review Chapter Five
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 28, 2017
Read The Hive CD/LP/Track Review The Hive
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 28, 2017
Read "Small Town" CD/LP/Track Review Small Town
by John Kelman
Published: May 19, 2017
Read "The Drive" CD/LP/Track Review The Drive
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 16, 2016
Read "The Getaway" CD/LP/Track Review The Getaway
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: June 25, 2016
Read "Unstatic" CD/LP/Track Review Unstatic
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 11, 2016
Read "The Outlier" CD/LP/Track Review The Outlier
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 22, 2016
Read "Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand" CD/LP/Track Review Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 23, 2017

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!