Steeped in the Detroit tradition of hard-hitting swing and deep blues, Alex Harding is one of the few baritone saxophonists who makes a trio date with bass and drums an anticipated event. His appeal is immediate, as his power and agility can cut through even sax-heavy groups like Frank Lowe’s Saxemble and Hamiet’s Bluiett Baritone Saxophone Group. Yet Freeflow is not a two-dimensional blowout. With bassist Chris Dahlgren and drummer Jimmy Weinstein, Harding has developed a well-balanced ensemble attack and a multifaceted book. While Freeflow is an album that lives up to its name in terms of the trio’s interplay, it is more sturdily constructed than its name suggests.
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