Monday, August 23, 2010

Eric Alexander Meets Harold Mabern

Tenor artist Eric Alexander has spent several decades now doing what he does. He is a modern mainstream tenorman who manages to have a great feel for the hard-bop-and-after style of his forebears but puts his own Alexandrian spin on it. He's a player you could actually hear in a blindfold test and identify, which alas does not apply to all players working in this tradition. Pianist Harold Mabern, of course, IS the tradition. He was a large player in forging the sort of funk attack and finesse of the pianistic style.

Getting the two together of course is a good idea. In the recent album Revival of the Fittest (High Note 7205) the collaboration yields a bountiful harvest of good sounds. It's a blowing date with Nat Reeves and Joe Farnsworth providing solid backing on bass and drums, respectively.

There's a standard ballad and original swingers. It may not be the greatest album either Eric or Harold has made, for there have been many, but it sure sounds good!

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