Sunday, November 1, 2015

'UBUNTU,' A WONDERFULLY ECLECTIC DEBUT FROM JAZZ DRUMMER ALEXANDER WHITE

Alexander White is a 25-year-old jazz drummer from Detroit, a graduate of the Detroit School of Fine and Performing Arts. Coming up on ten years, White has performed around Detroit. How sweet are White's chops? When saxophonist James Carter needed a replacement drummer for his world-renowned jazz organ trio White got the call. Touring with Carter is White’s first high profile job.  He's a member of a community of gifted young Detroit jazz musicians who breathes, eats, and, drinks music. Some of those gifted players as are bassist Ben Rolston, saxophonists Marcus Elliot, Rafael Statin, pianists Ian Finkelstein and Glenn Tucker. They play on White’s wonderfully eclectic debut album “Ubuntu” out last month on Detroit Record Forge. “Ubuntu” is lean with only six cuts that White hand stitched. The album is an example of the alt-jazz many players in White’s circle are into currently. The album has a smooth jazz and fusion driven personality. The opener “Freedom” and “Praying Their Souls" are crowd-pleasers. “Window” is the album’s only slow-jam, and saxophonist Marcus Elliot delivers a solo that has a puppy love kind of innocence. All the sideman showed up with their A-game. What “Ubuntu” shows unequivocally is White's tastefulness on drums and his seriousness as session leader. On “Cuckoo Bird,” one of the album's liveliest numbers, White pushes and supports organist Glenn Tucker and saxophonist Rafael Station through their barn burning solos.
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