Alex Hoffman [|] DARK LIGHTS -(MP3)- (Smalls Records, 2011) -|- Album Review
Tenor saxophonist Alex Hoffman serves up a rich tapestry of jazz which contains a satisfying blend of engaging and sophisticated straight ahead jazz sounds titled “DARK LIGHTS” on Small Records.
For those of you who love jazz that swings, buoyant and grooves with impeccable swagger then I’ll boldly say that Washington DC native Alex Hoffman has the perfect ingredient to satisfy your hunger for music that lives up to being an integral piece of the puzzle that fits neatly onto the fabric of America’s original art form we love call jazz.
Out the gate is “Night Jaunt,” the first of nine selections resonates with exquisite tones shaped by this incomparable ensemble swings purposely to the point. Wearing many hats on this project, Hoffman gives a new meaning to multitasking as composer, arranger and producer. You’ll hear his love to play and passion to swing with authority penetrates through the barriers with the maturity of a veteran musician to sustain his voice in this immeasurable musical landscape.
Hoffman arrived in New York in 2005, since landing in the Big Apple the gifted player/composer has garnered the attention of New York’s finest musicians. With “Dark Lights,” it’s evident why his passion to prolong his voice in the application of composition and play music with resilience and influences from an era that usually attracts and older audience is certainly appreciated at least from my perspective.
With songs like “REVOLVING, EVIL EYE and CELESTE’S SWING” opens the door for Hoffman to advance his composing and arranging skills which inevitably allows him to explore more fascinating sounds. The interplay by these superb musicians is underscored tastefully with unrefined dexterity in order to mobilize the essence of what Hoffman is saying through and beyond the perimeters of these luxuriant arrangements.
The suave, swinging and expressive sounds of “HURRICANE SACHA” is dedicated to pianist Sacha Perry and closely knitted to the enjoyable “D.C. BLUE” pays homage to hometown to wrap up this celebration of sophisticated music composed, arranged and played by Alex Hoffman and friends. If you dig jazz that swings with definition, sharp timbre and precision I’m sure Alex Hoffman’s “DARK LIGHTS” will brighten up your day and enhance your music collection. —Rob Young | Reviewer
1. NIGHT JAUNT
3. EVIL EYE
4. CELESTE’S SWING
7. READY FRED?
8. HURRICANE SACHA
9. D.C. BLUE
ALEX HOFFMAN – TENOR SAX
DWAYNE CLEMONS – TRUMPET
NED GOOLD – ALTO SAX
WILL REARDON-ANDERSON – ALTO SAX
PETER REARDON-ANDERSON – TENOR SAX
FRANK BASILE – BARITONE SAX
SACHA PERRY – PIANO
PAUL SIKIVIE – BASS
KEITH BALLA – DRUMS
PRODUCED BY ALEX HOFFMAN & LUKE KAVEN