****RINGER OF THE WEEK****Alex Hahn: Emerging

Judging by this incredible album, it’s easy to see why alto saxist, composer and arranger Alex Hahn has won a bunch of Downbeat awards as well as getting press at the Next Generation Monterey Jazz Festival. He’s got a great sound, wonderful chops and an attractive instinct for composition and arranging. This album, which has him with Ramsey Castaneda/ts, Jon Hatamiya/tb, Simon Moullier/vib-synth, Paul Cornish/p, Logan Kane/b, Colin McDaniel/dr Connor Kent/perc and the Andrew Tholl Strings, feature Hahn’s alto and soprano in seven wonderful original packages.

The rhythm section charges forward gallantly along with some dreamy and evocative strings, while the horns coax along the sidelines as Hahn delivers rich solos on “Rebirth” and the galloping “Getting Closer.” Celebratory percussion and drums  mix with optimistic funk on “Psychedelic Sun” while Hahn displays warmth and rich depth on the delicate “Emerging.” The horns lunge back and forth like racing stallions on “Long Ago” and subtlety oozes on the subdued “Song For Hope.” Each song includes clever side bars that take you just far enough to veer back in without missing an offramp, and there’s swing in every pulse. You’re gonna love this guy-when’s he hitting So Cal?


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