Eric_alexander-in_europe_span3
December 1997

Eric Alexander
In Europe
Criss Cross Jazz

Powered by Wes Montgomery's organist of choice, Melvin Rhyne, and rounded out by guitarist Bobby Broom and drummer Joe Farnsworth, this group is led by Alexander, an uncommonly strong tenor saxophonist for someone who's still in his 20s.

A grooving original blues waltz, "Stay On It" features a flowing, soulful, tenor solo and a light and sparse contribution by Broom. In contrast, Rhyne's "Spank That Pig" is a straightahead blues that enables all concerned to get downright nasty; Rhyne executes a series of smoldering choruses while working the pedals without a hitch, Broom colorfully bends and riffs, and Alexander tops things off with a solo that subtly cries and moans. Cleverly treated as a bright bossa, "That's All" finds the leader handing off the bridge to Broom during the head; later on, he articulately blows long lines over the plush underpinning. No real surprises, just solid playing all around.

Originally published in December 1997
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