Eric Alexander

Gentle Ballads, Vol. 3

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Since arriving on the jazz scene, Eric Alexander has turned into one of the busiest tenor saxophonists, recording prolifically for labels in the U.S., Europe, and Japan, in addition to his participation in the all-star band One for All. This third volume of ballads for Venus utilizes the same rhythm section as the earlier two editions: pianist Mike LeDonne, bassist John Webber, and drummer Joe Farnsworth, three of the busiest jazz musicians in New York City. Alexander's shimmering setting of "Don't Explain" is spacious and lyrical, while his approach to "Summertime" is swaggering hard bop. His brisk setting of the often banal "Killing Me Softly with His Song" is a great improvement. LeDonne's lush introduction sets up Alexander's deliberate, rhapsodic rendition of "All the Way." This is a perfect CD for romance.

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