Alexander O'Neal almost achieved the breakout he needed for crossover success with his second album. It cracked the Top 30 on the pop album chart, earned a gold record, and included O'Neal's two strongest uptempo tunes, "Fake" and "Criticize." Jam and Lewis linked the material with "party" dialogue and patter, providing their finest and tightest production for any O'Neal record. The beats were catchy, the songs hook-laden, and O'Neal's voice alternately explosive, sensitive and bemused.
Hindemith composed more than 30 sonatas for the most diverse instruments – all of which he was capable of playing himself! This fascinating selection of works written between 1935 (when he became persona non grata in Nazi Germany) and 1948 (the brilliant Cello Sonata for Piatigorsky) is played by some of today’s finest soloists, with the guiding spirit of Alexander Melnikov at the piano. How often does one hear a sonata for Althorn? Especially one published along with a poem by the composer?
Tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander delivers his first album of all ballads with 2013's Touching. Once again working with his longtime cohorts – pianist Harold Mabern, bassist John Webber and drummer Joe Farnsworth – Alexander has crafted a bluesy, soulful, and romantic album that, while soft in conception, is in no way smooth. Alexander is a long avowed straight-ahead jazz stylist and Touching is no exception. Here, he plays in his own no-nonsense way, often with limited embellishment on the melody lines and always with a muscular sense of rhythm and swing when soloing. What is also pleasing is that Mabern and Alexander have chosen a handful of lesser-performed songs.