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These impressive live sessions by tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander, pianist Harold Mabern, bassist Nat Reeves and drummer Joe Farnsworth come from a 1999 gig at the Keynote in Tokyo.
Mabern's furious "The Bee Hive, an intense bopper showcasing each musician in turn, packs a powerful punch as an opener. Alexander's subtle handling of the ballad "Maybe September suggests the lyricism of Coleman Hawkins and Ben Webster, yet in a distinctive, modern setting. The racehorse tempo chosen for Cole Porter's "In the Still of the Night at first seems ridiculous, but Alexander pulls it off in a virtuoso performance, supported by his capable rhythm section.
Mabern's playful introduction to "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square seems to entice Alexander to detour a bit from his lush treatment and have a bit of fun as well. The crowd responds to the swaggering rhythm of Stanley Turrentine's blues "Stan's Shuffle, and Mabern's rollicking solo nearly steals the show, after Alexander displays his gritty side. Reeves and Farnsworth provide solid support throughout the sessions; first-rate engineering gives the listener the equivalent of a front row seat.
Track Listing: The Bee Hive; Maybe September; In the Still of the Night; Edward Lee; A NIghtingale Sang in Berkeley Square; Stan's Shuffle; Alone Together.
Personnel: Eric Alexander: tenor saxophone; Harold Mabern: piano; Nat Reeves: bass; Joe Farnsworth:
I was first exposed to jazz when I was studying at the University of Puerto Rico. Nearby, I found a little record shop where the music coming from the store (Taller de Jazz Don Pedro) made me stop. I walked down the short stairs and towards the music and learned that the music playing was Clifford Brown and Max Roach
I was first exposed to jazz when I was studying at the University of Puerto Rico. Nearby, I found a little record shop where the music coming from the store (Taller de Jazz Don Pedro) made me stop. I walked down the short stairs and towards the music and learned that the music playing was Clifford Brown and Max Roach. I fell in love with it. I wondered around until the owner (Pedro Soto) asked if I needed help. He then introduced me to John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Gerry Mulligan and the rest is history. I walked out of the store with my first jazz recording: Clifford Brown and Max Roach at Basin Street.