Eric Alexander: Estaté




Eric Alexander (tenor sax)


The Second Milestone (Milestone 9315-2)

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Eric Alexander (tenor sax), Harold Mabern (piano), Peter Washington (bass),

Joe Farnsworth (drums)


Composed by Bruno Martino and Bruno Brighetti


Recorded: Englewood Cliffs, NJ, Dec. 2000


Rating: 94/100 (learn more)

In listening to Alexander's The First Milestone and The Second Milestone CDs as they first appeared in 2000 and 2001, you could sense that the saxophonist was blossoming into a complete player, both technically and emotionally. The driving up-tempo hard bopper was now becoming a compelling ballad interpreter as well, and his primary George Coleman and Dexter Gordon influences had been fully absorbed and transformed into an unmistakably individual style.

The confident and expressive manner in which Alexander performs the beautiful and deceptively spare "Estaté" is a sure sign of his then new-found maturity. Sounding somewhat like Stan Getz in his lilting intro, Alexander introduces the theme with a more distinctive, sensuous tone. He exudes both a calmness and a total commitment to the melody at hand, limning it with grace and perceptiveness. In his solo, Alexander brings more of a bluesy flavor to bare, and while some of his phrases resemble those of Getz, the swaggering modus operandi of Stanley Turrentine is also recalled. But in the end, as he fluidly revisits the theme and concludes with a swirling, breathy coda, you are left admiring Eric Alexander, young mainstream tenor master. No more, no less.

Reviewer: Scott Albin

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