Eric Alexander, John Hicks, George Mraz, Idris Muhammad
Solid!, Milestone CD MCD-9283-2, 1998
Solid jazz satisfaction
To show you right where this review is going, its
been pretty much in my CD player for the last six days. Ill push
the Play whenever Im typing at the computer and need a cool down
The music is slick and it slides. Nine tracks, 60 minutes. You
get your moneys worth. Starts with "Solid" by Sonny
Rollins, and ends with Coltranes "Straight Street," and
both cut the laser deeply into the groove. Solid is the
right title. Oh, man, its right.
This album contains compositions by the greats: Monk, Ellington,
Miles Davis, Sonny Clark. Good line-up they picked, and the four star
players (with two guest stars) know how to keep you hooked with jazz
that Id call classical.
The opening song, "Solid," rolls to a close with sax
that spits out like twisty macaroni; then "Little Melonae"
starts on a great eight-minute piece of tenor sax from big-lipped Eric
Alexander. The piano jams chords on one side of your brain, while the
reed pumps out an amazing array of smooth notes, still staying on
track. Go to sleep with "Theme for Ernie" by Fred Lacey.
Theres a difference between sleeping from boredom and sleeping
because thats where you want to go. This is where you want to
I cant tell if "Fire Waltz" is in 3/4 (waltz)
time, but does it matter? Heres a Mal Waldron tune that dances
along with keys and high hats like its going out the door on New
"Light Blue" by the one and only T. Monk is a beautiful
tune, and nicely titled. Its not heavy blue, its not even
just blue. There is encouragement sparkling up from John Hicks
piano. I only wish I could hear George Mrazs bass more. It would
be a great place to lay down some booming counterpoint.
The album just came out late in 98. You wont be
disappointed. Unless youre just an ass. Ben
Eric Alexander, tenor sax; John Hicks, piano; George Mraz, bass;
Idris Muhammad, drums; Jim Rotondi, trumpet; Joe Locke, vibraphone.
Solid Little Melonae Theme for
Ernie Fire Waltz Four The
Star-Crossed Lovers My Conception Light
Blue Straight Street