Eric Alexander (jazz saxophonist)

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Eric Alexander
Eric Alexander.jpg
Background information
Born (1968-08-04) August 4, 1968 (age 49)
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Saxophone
Labels Milestone
Eric Alexander 2008

Eric Alexander (born August 4, 1968)[1] is an American jazz saxophonist, known for his sophisticated hard bop and post-bop style.[2]

Alexander began as a classical musician, studying alto saxophone at Indiana University with Eugene Rousseau in 1986. He soon switched to jazz and the tenor saxophone, however, and transferred to William Paterson University, where he studied with Harold Mabern, Rufus Reid, Joe Lovano, Gary Smulyan, Norman Simmons, Steve Turre and others.[3]

Alexander first achieved fame by finishing second (behind Joshua Redman and ahead of Chris Potter) at the 1991 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition. He was quickly signed and began recording albums.

Influenced heavily by John Coltrane, Sonny Stitt, Dexter Gordon and George Coleman, Alexander has worked with many notable jazz musicians, including Chicago pianist Harold Mabern, bassist Ron Carter, drummer Joseph Farnsworth, guitarist Pat Martino, drummer Grady Tate, and Robert Stewart (saxophonist). He has also recorded and toured extensively with the sextet One for All.[4]



As leader[edit]

  • New York Calling (Criss Cross, 1992)
  • Straight Up (Delmark, 1992)
  • Up, Over & Out (Delmark, 1993)
  • Full Range (Criss Cross, 1994)
  • Eric Alexander in Europe (Criss Cross, 1995) (quartet with Melvin Rhyne, Bobby Broom, Joe Farnsworth
  • Stablemates (Delmark, 1995) (with Lin Halliday)
  • Two of a Kind (Criss Cross, 1996) (with Cecil Payne)
  • Man with a Horn (Milestone, 1997 [rel. 1999]) (with Cedar Walton)
  • Alexander the Great (Milestone, 1997 [rel. 1999]) (quintet with Jim Rotondi, Charles Earland, Peter Bernstein, Joe Farnsworth)
  • Heavy Hitters (Pony Canyon [Japan], 1997)
  • Mode for Mabes (Milestone, 1997) (with Harold Mabern)
  • Extra Innings (Alfa [Japan], 1998)
  • Solid! (Milestone, 1998) (quartet with John Hicks, George Mraz, Idris Muhammad)
  • Live at the Keynote (Video Arts [Japan], 1999)
  • The First Milestone (Milestone, 1999) (with Pat Martino)
  • The Second Milestone (Milestone, 2000)
  • Summit Meeting (Milestone, 2001) (with Nicholas Payton)
  • Nightlife in Tokyo (Milestone, 2002)
  • Gentle Ballads (Venus [Japan], 2004)
  • Dead Center (HighNote, 2004) (with Harold Mabern)
  • Sunday in New York (Venus [Japan], 2005)
  • It's All in the Game (High Note, 2005)
  • Gentle Ballads II (Venus [Japan], 2006)
  • Temple of Olympic Zeus (High Note, 2007)
  • My Favorite Things (Venus [Japan], 2007)
  • In Concert: Prime Time (High Note, 2007)
  • Gentle Ballads III (Venus [Japan], 2007)
  • Lazy Afternoon: Gentle Ballads IV (Venus [Japan], 2008)
  • Revival Of The Fittest (High Note, 2009)
  • Chim Chim Cheree: Tribute to John Coltrane (Venus [Japan], 2009)
  • Don't Follow the Crowd (High Note, 2010)
  • Gentle Ballads V (Venus [Japan], 2011)
  • Touching (High Note, 2012)
  • Blues at Midnight (Venus [Japan], 2013)
  • Recado Bossa Nova (Venus [Japan], 2013)
  • Chicago Fire (High Note, 2013) (with Jeremy Pelt)
  • The Real Thing (High Note, 2015) (with Pat Martino)
  • Second Impression (High Note, 2016)

As sideman[edit]

With One for All (co-leader with Jim Rotondi, Steve Davis, David Hazeltine)

  • Too Soon to Tell (Sharp Nine, 1997)
  • Optimism (Sharp Nine, 1998)
  • Upward and Onward (Criss Cross, 1999)
  • The Long Haul (Criss Cross, 2000)
  • The End of a Love Affair (Venus [Japan], 2001)
  • Live at Smoke: Volume 1 (Criss Cross, 2001)
  • Wide Horizons (Criss Cross, 2002)
  • No Problem: Tribute to Art Blakey (Venus [Japan], 2003)
  • Blueslike (Criss Cross, 2003)
  • Killer Joe (Venus [Japan], 2005)
  • The Lineup (Sharp Nine, 2006)
  • What's Going On (Venus [Japan], 2007)
  • Return of the Lineup (Sharp Nine, 2008)
  • Incorrigible (Jazz Legacy Productions, 2009)
  • Invades Vancouver! (Live At The Cellar) (Cellar Live, 2010)
  • The Third Decade (Smoke Sessions, 2016)

With Jim Rotondi

  • Introducing Jim Rotondi (Criss Cross, 1996)
  • Jim's Bop (Criss Cross, 1997) (quintet includes Harold Mabern)
  • Excursions (Criss Cross, 1998) (this is the 'One For All' group under Jim's leadership)
  • Blues for Brother Ray – A Tribute To Ray Charles (Posi-Tone, 2009) (quintet includes Mike LeDonne, Peter Bernstein)
  • Live at Smalls (Smalls Live, 2009) (this quintet includes 5 of the 6 members of the 'One For All' group, everyone except Steve Davis)
  • Jim Rotondi and The Loop: Hard Hittin' at the Bird's Eye (Sharp Nine, 2012)

With Steve Davis

  • The Jaunt (Criss Cross, 1995) (sextet includes Mike DiRubbo, Bruce Barth)
  • Dig Deep (Criss Cross, 1996) (this is the 'One For All' group under Steve's leadership)
  • Crossfire (Criss Cross, 1997) (sextet includes Mike DiRubbo, Harold Mabern)
  • Say When (Smoke Sessions, 2015) (sextet includes Eddie Henderson, Harold Mabern)

With David Hazeltine

  • Blues Quarters, Vol. 1 (Criss Cross, 1998)
  • The Classic Trio Meets Eric Alexander (Sharp Nine, 2001)
  • Manhattan Autumn (Sharp Nine, 2001)
  • Blues Quarters, Vol. 2 (Criss Cross, 2006)
  • The Inspiration Suite (Sharp Nine, 2007)
  • Inversions (Criss Cross, 2010)

With Reeds and Deeds (co-leader with Grant Stewart)

  • Wailin' (Criss Cross, 2004)
  • Cookin' (Criss Cross, 2005) (includes David Hazeltine, John Webber, Joe Farnsworth...the 'One For All' rhythm section)
  • Tenor Time (Criss Cross, 2010) (includes David Hazeltine, John Webber, Joe Farnsworth...the 'One For All' rhythm section)

With Vincent Herring

  • The Battle (Live at Smoke) (High Note, 2005)
  • Friendly Fire (Live at Smoke) (High Note, 2011)

With Mike LeDonne

  • Smokin' Out Loud (Savant, 2003) (includes Peter Bernstein, Joe Farnsworth)
  • The Anniversary Quartet: You'll See! (Live At The Cellar) (Cellar Live, 2004) (includes Peter Bernstein, Joe Farnsworth)
  • On Fire (Live at Smoke) (Savant, 2006) (includes Peter Bernstein, Joe Farnsworth)
  • Five Live (Live at Smoke) (Savant, 2007) (includes Jeremy Pelt, John Webber, Joe Farnsworth)
  • The Groover (Savant, 2009) (includes Peter Bernstein, Joe Farnsworth)
  • Mike LeDonne/The Groover Quartet: Keep the Faith (Savant, 2011) (includes Peter Bernstein, Joe Farnsworth)
  • Mike LeDonne/The Groover Quartet: I Love Music (Savant, 2013) (includes Peter Bernstein, Joe Farnsworth)
  • Mike LeDonne/The Groover Quartet: Awwl Right! (Savant, 2015) (includes Peter Bernstein, Joe Farnsworth)
  • Mike LeDonne/The Groover Quartet: That Feelin' (Savant, 2016) (includes Peter Bernstein, Joe Farnsworth, with special guest: Vincent Herring)

With Charles Earland (AKA "The Mighty Burner")

  • Unforgettable (Muse, 1991)
  • I Ain't Jivin'...I'm Jammin' (Muse, 1992)
  • Ready 'n' Able (Muse, 1995)
  • Blowing the Blues Away (High Note, 1997)
  • Cookin' with the Mighty Burner (High Note, 1999; recorded 1997)
  • Stomp! (High Note, 2000; recorded 1999)
  • The Almighty Burner (32 Jazz, 2000) compilation/Muse material
  • Charles Earland Tribute Band: Keepers of the Flame (High Note, 2002) (includes Joey DeFrancesco, Bob DeVos, Pat Martino)
  • The Mighty Burner: The Best of His High Note Recordings (High Note, 2004) compilation
  • Scorched, Seared & Smokin': The Best of "The Mighty Burner" (High Note, 2011) compilation/3-CD set

With Irene Reid

  • Million Dollar Secret (Savant, 1997) (includes Jim Rotondi, Charles Earland, Bob DeVos)
  • I Ain't Doing Too Bad (Savant, 1999) (includes Jim Rotondi, Charles Earland, Bob DeVos)
  • The Uptown Lowdown (Savant, 2000) (includes Jim Rotondi, Charles Earland)
  • One Monkey Don't Stop No Show (Savant, 2002) (includes Jim Rotondi, Randy Johnston)
  • The Queen of the Party (Savant, 2012) compilation

With others[edit]

  • The Tenor Triangle: Tell It Like It Is (Criss Cross, 1993) (sextet with Ralph Lalama, Tad Shull & Melvin Rhyne Trio)
  • Joe Magnarelli: Why Not (Criss Cross, 1994)
  • The Tenor Triangle: Aztec Blues (Criss Cross, 1994) (sextet with Ralph Lalama, Tad Shull & Melvin Rhyne Trio)
  • Melvin Rhyne: Stick to the Kick (Criss Cross, 1995)
  • John Swana: In the Moment (Criss Cross, 1995) (sextet includes Steve Davis, Kenny Barron)
  • Atro "Wade" Mikkola Quartet: On The Way (AMK [Finland], 1995)
  • Peter Bernstein: Brain Dance (Criss Cross, 1996) (quintet includes Steve Davis, Larry Goldings)
  • Pat Martino: Stone Blue (Blue Note, 1998)
  • John Swana & Joe Magnarelli: Philly-New York Junction (Criss Cross, 1998)
  • Paul Bollenback: Soul Grooves (Challenge, 1998)
  • Cecil Payne: Payne's Window (Delmark, 1998) (sextet includes Steve Davis, Harold Mabern, John Webber, Joe Farnsworth)
  • Joe Farnsworth: Beautiful Friendship (Criss Cross, 1998) (sextet includes Eddie Henderson, Steve Davis, Cedar Walton)
  • Jimmy McGriff: McGriff's House Party (Milestone, 1999)
  • Melvin Rhyne: Classmasters (Criss Cross, 1999)
  • Norman Simmons: The Art of Norman Simmons (Savant, 2000)
  • Dmitri Kolesnik: Blues for Dad (Boheme, 2001)
  • Jimmy Scott: But Beautiful (Milestone, 2001)
  • Jimmy Scott: Moon Glow (Milestone, 2001)
  • Norman Simmons: Synthesis (Savant, 2002)
  • Joe Magnarelli & John Swana: New York-Philly Junction (Criss Cross, 2003)
  • Jimmy Cobb's Mob: Cobb's Groove (Milestone, 2003) (quintet with Richard Wyands, Peter Bernstein, John Webber)
  • Jim Snidero: Close Up (Milestone, 2004)
  • Bob DeVos: Shifting Sands (Savant, 2005)
  • Bob DeVos: Playing For Keeps (Savant, 2007)
  • Dmitri Kolesnik: Five Corners (Challenge, 2007)
  • John Swana: Bright Moments (Criss Cross, 2007)
  • Larry Willis: The Offering (High Note, 2007)
  • Stewy Von Wattenwyl Generations Trio Featuring Eric Alexander: Live At Marians (Bemsha Music, 2008)
  • Meeting Point: Quintessence (Challenge, 2008) (quintet with Jim Rotondi, Andrei Kondakov, Dmitri Kolesnik, Lenny White)
  • Neal Smith Quintet: Live at Smalls (Smalls Live, 2009)
  • Pat Martino Quartet: Undeniable – Live at Blues Alley (High Note, 2011)
  • Alexis Cole with One for All: You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To (Venus [Japan], 2011)
  • I Carry Your Heart: Alexis Cole Sings Pepper Adams (Motéma, 2012)
  • Harold Mabern: Mr. Lucky – A Tribute To Sammy Davis Jr. (High Note, 2012)
  • Harold Mabern: Afro Blue (Smoke Sessions, 2015)
  • Federico Bonifazi: You'll See (Steeplechase, 2015)
  • Bernd Reiter Quintet Featuring Eric Alexander: Workout at Bird's Eye – A Tribute to Hank Mobley & Grant Green (Steeplechase, 2015)
  • The Candy Men: Harry Allen's All Star New York Saxophone Band (Arbors, 2015) (with Grant Stewart, Gary Smulyan)
  • Harold Mabern: To Love and Be Loved (Smoke Sessions, 2017)


  1. ^ Kennedy, Gary (2002). "Alexander, Eric (Wells)". In Barry Kernfeld. The new Grove dictionary of jazz, vol. 1 (2nd ed.). New York: Grove's Dictionaries Inc. pp. 26–27. ISBN 1561592846. 
  2. ^ Cook, Richard (2005). Richard Cook's Jazz Encyclopedia. London: Penguin Books. p. 7. ISBN 0-141-00646-3. 
  3. ^ Massarik, Jack (April 2008). "Tenor of the Times". Jazzwise. Jazzwise Publication Ltd. p. 10. 
  4. ^ Collar, Matt (2010). "AllMusic". One for All. Rovi Corporation. 

External links[edit]