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Eric Alexander Quartet

Eric Alexander Quartet (USA)

A world class American jazz saxophonist, Eric Alexander is particularly well known for his sophisticated hard bop and post-bop style. The Eric Alexander Quartet features the legendary pianist Harold Mabern. The quartet has toured extensively around the world and has released seven recordings on the Milestone and Alfa labels. Eric Alexander's latest record 'The Real Thing' has just been released in 2015 (High Note).


Line Up:

Eric Alexander - sax
Harold Mabern - piano
Joe Farnsworth - drums
John Webber or Nat Reeves - bass

On Stage: 4
Travel party: 5




Biography:

Eric Alexander started piano lessons at the age of six. He took up the clarinet at nine and switched to alto sax three years later. The tenor sax became his obsession at Indiana University Bloomington (1986-87). After transferring to William Paterson College in New Jersey he studied with Harold Mabern, Joe Lovano, Rufus Reid, and others. 

“The people I listened to in college are still the cats who are influencing me today,” Eric says. “The legacy left by Bird and all the bebop pioneers, that language and that feel—that's the bread and butter of everything I do." George Coleman is a big influence because of his very hip harmonic approach. And I'm still listening all the time to Coltrane because I feel that—even in the wildest moments of his mid- to late-60s solos—I can find these little kernels of melodic information and employ them in my own playing.”

In 1991 Eric competed against Joshua Redman and Chris Potter in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition. Placing second, this launched him into the whirlwind life of a professional jazz musician. He played with organ trios on Chicago’s South Side, made his recording debut with Charles Earland (Muse Records, 1991), and cut his first album as a leader, “Straight Up” (Delmark, 1991). More recordings followed for numerous labels, including Milestone. In 1997 he put out “Man with a Horn.” The following year saw the release of “Solid!”—a collaborative quartet session with George Mraz, John Hicks, and Idris Muhammad—as well as the first recording by his sextet One for All.

Eric has appeared on record as a leader, sideman, producer, and composer. By now, he has lost count of how many albums feature his playing; he guesses 60 or 70. He has earned praise from critics and, even more important, established his own voice within the bebop tradition. 

In 2004, Eric signed an exclusive contract with HighNote Records, an independent jazz label based in New York City. There he has amassed a considerable discography of critically acclaimed recordings. Most recent among them is “Don't Follow the Crowd,” and “Friendly Fire” with Vincent Herring.

Eric continues to tour the world and play to capacity audiences. Making his home in New York City, he performs regularly in clubs around the city and appears frequently at Smoke on the Upper West Side.



Discography:

1992 New York Calling - Criss Cross
1992 Straight Up - Delmark
1994 Full Range - Criss Cross
1995 Eric Alexander in Europe - Criss Cross
1995 Up, Over & Out - Delmark
1995 Stablemates - Delmark
1996 Two of a Kind - Criss Cross
1998 Mode for Mabes - Delmark
1998 Solid! - Milestone
1999 Man with a Horn - Milestone
1999 Live at the Keynote - Video Arts
1999 Alexander the Great - Highnote Records
2000 The First Milestone - Milestone
2001 The Second Milestone - Milestone
2001 Live at Smoke - Criss Cross
2002 Summit Meeting - Milestone
2003 Nightlife in Tokyo - Fantasy
2003 Heavy Hitters - Pony Canyon Records
2004 Dead Center - Highnote Records
2005 Gentle Ballads - Venus
2005 The Battle: Live at Smoke - Highnote Records
2006 It's All in the Game - Highnote Records
2007 Temple of Olympic Zeus - Highnote Records
2007 My Favorite Things - Tokuma Records
2008 Gentle Ballads, Vol. 2 - Tokuma Records
2008 Prime Time: In Concert - Highnote Records
2008 Gentle Ballads, Vol. 3
2009 Revival of the Fittest - Highnote Records
2009 Live at Marians
2011 Don't Follow the Crowd - Highnote Records
2012 Friendly Fire: Live at Smoke - High Note
2013 Touching - High Note
2014 Chicago Fire - High Note
2015 The Real Thing - High Note



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