For the Prestige label's 50th Anniversary season, tribute and repertory albums are now coming out.
This disc brings together an all star band playing classic jazz compositions from its 1950s' records, songs that deserved the exclamation point, like "Little Melonae", "Straight Street", "Fire Waltz", and "Four." You get the idea.
This would be just a nice, throwaway session but for the brilliance of tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander, who mines these songs for fresh ideas and plays with a command and emotional impact that is stirring.
The rhythm section is first rate too, and Hicks has some lyrical moments. The album also includes fine cameo spots for Joe Locke on vibes and Jim Rotondi on trumpet.