BOSS TENORS…Eric Alexander: Song of No Regrets, Houston Person: Rain or Shine

Tenor saxes are like salami sticks; as long as it’s beefy or smoky, I’m good to go. Here are two of the best living guys that are carrying the Texas Tenor torch.

Eric Alexander has a strong  chop sirloin slab of a sound on this album with his regular team of David Hazeltine/p, John Webber/b, Joe Farnsworth/dr, Alex Diaz/perc and guests Jon Faddis-Joshua Bruneau/tp, Esther Lomas-Sampedro & Lucas Alexander. The team is in a muscular mood on vintage hard boppers as Faddis and Alexander form a strong front line on”But Here’s the Thing” and the leader tacks on a B3 and Faddis mutes the horn on “ These Three Words.”  The rhythm team gets into a Basie groove on “Cede’s Shacke” and is smooth as silk on the groover “Grinder” while having a gas of a time on the pop standard “Up Up and Away.” Alexander’s sax fills the room on a bel canto “Song of No Regrets” and goes modal on “Boom Zoom.” Gotta see this guy in concert!

Four score tenorist Houston Person is a throwback to the Jimmy Forrest and Gene Ammons-styled tenors. Just let the fog roll in, and it surely does here on this collection of relaxed tempos. Kindred spirits Warren Vache/ct, Lafayette Harris/p, Rodney Jones/g, Matthew Parrish/b and Vincent Ector/dr supply the linen sheets in which Person lays down gorgeous reads on pieces ranging from the Tin Pan Alley “Come Rain or Come Shine” or the Boomer pop hit “Our Day Will Come.” His bell glistens on the silhouetted “Learnin’ the Blues” and does a neck and neck race with Ben Webster for a definitive read of “Danny Boy” Guaranteed to warm your cockles.

High Note Records

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