There are a lot of good young straightahead tenor players out there, but too often passion and intrepidness take a back seat to craft. Not a big problem for Eric Alexander, who stacks up with the best of the younger crew. The 30-something tenorist manages to inject a bit more emotion and spontaneity into his work than is typical of other players his age. His strength, however, is an attention to musical detail. Few saxophonists play with better intonation and make the changes with greater rhythmic and harmonic aplomb. Alexander’s articulation is clean but not too clean, and the slightly rough edges lend his improvisations a welcome tinge of instability-a kind of teetering-on-the-edge-of-coherence feeling that adds excitement to a performance.
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