Eric Alexander: Last Night When We Were Young


Last Night When We Were Young


Eric Alexander (tenor sax)


The First Milestone (Milestone MCD-9302-2)

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Eric Alexander (tenor sax), Harold Mabern (piano),

Peter Washington (bass), Joe Farnsworth (drums)


Composed by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg


Recorded: New York, November 3-4, 1999


Rating: 92/100 (learn more)

Mabern's dramatic block-chord intro leads to Alexander's tender reading of the gorgeous theme, his silky, purring tone hardening on the bridge. After a repeat, bass and drums enter, Farnsworth's tasteful brushwork creating a floating groove. Alexander's solo toys with the rhythm, his extended lines both lucid and moving. A short double-time section offers yet more forceful tenor, followed by Mabern's typically intense and adventurous improv. Alexander and Mabern execute a captivating coda in tandem to end a memorable interpretation. Alexander is one of the prime current practitioners of hard bop, which layers elements of funk, soul and sometimes modal improvisation onto the basic principles of bebop. He has unquestionably matured to become his own man, carrying on the tradition of his main inspiration, George Coleman, as well as others such as Mobley, Turrentine and late '50s Coltrane.

Reviewer: Scott Albin

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