194

The Anniversary Quartet: You'll See!

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
The Anniversary Quartet: You'll See! The Anniversary Quartet is a working band consisting of Eric Alexander on tenor sax, Peter Bernstein on guitar, Mike LeDonne on organ, and Joe Farnsworth on drums, so named because they played a gig to commemmorate the fourth anniversary of the Cellar Club in Vancouver, Canada. Thankfully, the music was recorded and is now available.

The Anniversary Quartet plays bop-based organ jazz, using forms and devices that go back decades. However, these musicians have personal sounds, their own identities, and a deep commitment to the timeless bebop idiom, so that their music avoids sounding retro or merely recreative. Instead, this hard-swinging band takes no prisoners, and You'll See! is a fiery delight.

The virtues of this music are well-defined on "11 Years," during which Eric Alexander takes a tenor saxophone solo that is probably as good as any recorded during the past eleven years. Not content to merely run the changes, Alexander instead airs out his lines with a sophisticated use of space and accents, giving his phrases a refreshing element of surprise, all the while swinging hard at a roaring up-tempo and delivering them in his easily identifiable tone. In fact, Alexander distinguishes himself throughout You'll See!, digging in on every track, with his stirring blues solo on the title tune a standout. Alexander is certainly one of the best younger tenor players around today.

But this band is far more than Eric Alexander. The Anniversary Quartet has been working steadily at the New York City club Smoke, and they've had a fortunate opportunity to build rapport. They breathe together, creating steadily mounting excitement on every track. Hear in particular how the band shadows and supports Alexander on "Cherokee," managing to generate excitement even with a time-honored tune. Their fire and commitment transcend the idiom and the material. And they improvise well on every track. You'll See! may not be radical or cutting edge. It is, however, very, very good.


Track Listing: After The Love Has Gone, 11 Years, Lament, You'll See, Delilah, Cherokee, Outro.

Personnel: Eric Alexander, tenor saxophone; Peter Bernstein, guitar; Mike LeDonne, organ; Joe Farnsworth, drums.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Cellar Live | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Loafer's Hollow" CD/LP/Track Review Loafer's Hollow
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 10, 2017
Read "Aziza" CD/LP/Track Review Aziza
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 19, 2016
Read "Source" CD/LP/Track Review Source
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: August 25, 2016
Read "June" CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Risc" CD/LP/Track Review Risc
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 29, 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

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!