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Strong, crisp phrasing and broad, contoured solos mark out Eric Alexander’s hard bop style from the current pack of great New York saxophonists. But then throw in youth (he’s in his 30s), consistency (more than 15 rock-solid releases in 10 years), and a prodigious friendliness (he’s guested on 50 other recordings from bop to soul to backing singers like Little Jimmy Scott) and Alexander really stands out.

He’s out to make a name for himself — not an easy job in the sax-reverent world of jazz, but he’s got the chops to back it up. His tone is confident and effortless, always wrapping his well-honed tenor sound in immediacy and intelligence.

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