Perhaps it's the water, whatever, the State of North Carolina has produced more than it's share of fine saxophone players. John Coltrane, Harold Vicks, Lou Donaldson and Tina Brooks are among the prominent reed men North Carolina claims as natives. John Alexander not only was born there, but still resides in Charlotte finding a receptive home to practice jazz. Alexander, with music degrees from Erskine College and U of Miami (FL), began his professional career in 1961 at age 13 with a Rhythm and Blues group called the Counts. Then in college he turned to jazz after listening to recordings of Charlie Parker, John Coltrane and, especially, Michael Brecker's first Dreams album.
From 1977 to 1983, Alexander played with multi-instrumentalist Ira Sullivan and was featured on Sullivan's 1983 album Strings Attached. Alexander has also been with Louis Bellson, Astrud Gilberto, Curtis Fuller, Lou Rawls and Natalie Cole. His first album, Brother, which he made with pianist Gary Marcus was released in1999. In addition to featuring some of his own compositions, the album reveals that Alexander is every bit as adept playing Bop, Post Bop and Mainstream. He has not painted himself into any stylistic corner which wold limit his attraction to admirers of the jazz saxophone.