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A look inside The Jazz Gallery

Photo by Jimmy Katz, courtesy of the artist.

Eric Alexander has been one of the busiest bebop and post-bop saxophonists of the past four decades. He has released nearly forty albums as a leader and performed on countless other records as a sideman. His raspy yet wide tone is immediately recognizable, as are his focused, cascading melodic lines. Alexander most often appears alongside pianist Harold Mabern, either in Mabern’s band or his own. The two have been working together since Alexander’s days in the jazz department at William Patterson University.

Nearly all saxophonists spend years learning the language of the great swing and bebop masters. That experience is relegated to the years of jazz education for many young musicians, but Alexander has made a point to keep that sound alive and well in his own playing. As an educator and composer, he has remarkable knowledge of the blues vocabulary of giants from Coltrane and Parker to Stitt and Mobley, and has held the sounds of masters close as his own playing has evolved. Says Alexander, “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.”

While Alexander has performed on what seems like every jazz stage in New York, this performance marks his first appearance at The Jazz Gallery as a leader. For this upcoming show at the Gallery, Alexander will deviate from his usual quartet configuration, and will present two sets of standards and originals alongside bassist Doug Weiss and drummer Johnathan Blake.

The Eric Alexander Trio plays The Jazz Gallery on Tuesday, May 8, 2019. The group is presented by Giant Steps Arts and features Mr. Alexander on tenor saxophone, Doug Weiss on bass, and Johnathan Blake on drums. Sets are at 7:30 and 9:30 P.M. $20 general admission ($10 for members), $30 reserved cabaret seating ($20 for members) for each set. Purchase tickets here.