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


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Suite Ellington" CD/LP/Track Review Suite Ellington
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 28, 2016
Read "Deeper Journey" CD/LP/Track Review Deeper Journey
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 25, 2016
Read "Blood" CD/LP/Track Review Blood
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 14, 2016
Read "Cómo Desaparecer Completamente (How to Disappear Completely)" CD/LP/Track Review Cómo Desaparecer Completamente (How to Disappear Completely)
by Troy Dostert
Published: November 11, 2016
Read "Love Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Escape  from The Unhappy Society" CD/LP/Track Review Escape from The Unhappy Society
by Anthony Shaw
Published: February 1, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!