It's a rollicking, well crafted session
The Detroit-based alto saxophonist's latest recording features an all-star combination of the group "One For All" (Jim Rotondi, Steve Davis and David Hazeltine) and the dynamic rhythm duo of Carl Allen and Rodney Whitaker. With originals, standards and contemporary popular music exovatively arranged for sextet and quartet, Graham uses vehicles like "All the Things You Are" to explore twelve-tone writing in a more straight-ahead setting, and the up-tempo original "Rocket Science," where the band navigates complex harmonic progressions. The original "Pig Pig" featuers a catchy melody over a swinging New Orleans street-beat, and the program is rounded out by David Hazeltine's sextet arrangements of the Isley Brother's classic "For the Love of You" and The Stylistic's hit "You Make Me Feel Brand New."
1 YOU MAKE ME FEEL BRAND NEW 6:33
2 PIG PIG 5:27
3 ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE 8:04
4 WHERE OR WHEN 6:01
5 FOR THE LOVE OF YOU 7:00
6 JUST YOU, JUST ME 4:29
7 ROCKET SCIENCE 3:41
8 WABASH 4:48
9 SKYLARK 6:47
10 SAVE YOUR LOVE FOR ME 8:28
ALEX GRAHAM - alto saxophone
JIM ROTONDI - trumpet
STEVE DAVIS - trombone
DAVID HAZELTINE - piano
RODNEY WHITAKER - bass
CARL ALLEN - drums
Produced by ALEX GRAHAM
Executive producers: KATHY and TOM LEWAND
Recorded at Avatar Studios, New York City, July 25, 2007
Recorded & Mixed by JAMES FARBER
Mastered by FRED KEVORKIAN at Avatar Studios
Cover design by JOHN BISHOP
All Music Guide (Adam Greenberg)
Alto sax player Alex Graham's album Brand New attempts to live up to its own title largely by reworking classic pieces (and a few less-common items in the jazz world) into a new form for an interesting sextet combination. The album opens with a piece from the Stylistics that is just this side of recognizable. An original blues club number from Grah ...
Platter Chatter (George Fendel)
I must admit that the first thing that caught my eye on this CD was, with apologies, not the name Alex Graham, but the names Jim Rontondi (trumpet); Steve Davis (trombone); David Hazeltine (piano); Rodney Whitaker (bass); and Carl Allen (drums). When you're in that kind of musical company, it's a pretty fair bet you too have what it takes. And Alex ...
Downbeat, May 2009 (Ted Panken)
Big-sound alto saxophonist Alex Graham convenes pianist David Hazeltine, trombonist Steve Davis and trumpeter Jim Rotondi from One For All, and synchronous bass-drums tandem Rodney Whitaker and Carl Allen on Brand New ***. It's a rollicking, well crafted session comprised of "new standards" (Hazeltine's charts on "You Make Me Feel Brand New" and "F ...