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 love jazz because it expresses things so deep that I can't transform in words.
I met John Pizzarelli.
The best show I ever attended was MASP in São Paulo Brazil.
The first jazz record I bought was a Baby Dodds CD.
My heroes on drums: Papa Jo Jones, Sid Catlett, Gene Krupa, Baby Dodds, Zutty Singleton, Ray Bauduc, Vernell Fournier,
Shelly Manne, Jimmy Cobb, Joe Morello, Daniel Humair, Kenny Clarke, Sonny Carr, Buddy Rich, Sam Woodyard, Cozy Cole,
Sonny Greer, Neil Peart, Carl Palmer, Tony Sbarbaro, Vic Berton, Edison Machado, Milton Banana, Rubens Barsotti.
My heroes in jazz: Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Chet Baker, Miles Davis, Ahmad Jamal, Coleman Hawkins, Teddy Wilson,
Barney Kessel, Lester Young, Johnny Hodges, Jelly Roll Morton.