On his third album as a leader -- recorded in 1993 when he was 25 -- tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander shows that he was a major player even this early. His first album as the only horn (rather than sharing the front line in a quintet) has Alexander digging into such songs as Hank Mobley's "Up, Over and Out," "The Nearness of You," "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered," and pianist Harold Mabern's "Blues for Mabe." With fine support given by Mabern, bassist John Ore, and drummer Joe Farnsworth, Alexander swings hard and occasionally hints at his influences (Dexter Gordon and Joe Henderson) but mostly sounds like himself. His hard bop playing shows that it is quite possible to find an original voice within an older style and sound fresh. This CD is easily recommended to straight-ahead jazz collectors.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow