A prime pair of players on the New York jazz scene, tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander and pianist David Hazeltine both are old school enough to evoke lots of their illustrious predecessors, yet manage to forge distinctive voices in a modern context. Hard bopper Alexander boasts the broad tone and bristling power of Sonny Rollins or Dexter Gordon, while Hazeltine suggests the melodic sophistication of Oscar Peterson or Cedar Walton. When they get together, sparks fly, as on the new live CD/DVD Prime Time (HighNote), credited to the Eric Alexander Quartet (including bassist John Webber and drummer Joe Farnsworth), and recorded a year ago in Asheville, North Carolina. From the opening blues-based "Blues Like" through the swaggering "One for Steve" and the funk-laced "We All Love Eddie Harris," ideas skitter by fast and furious, clusters of rhythmic inventions opening into sly harmonic conspiracies. Joining Alexander and Hazeltine at the Artists' Quarter will be local jazz aces Kenny Horst on drums and Tom Lewis on bass. 18+.
Fridays-Sundays, 9 p.m. Starts: May 23. Continues through May 25, 2008