Jeff Alkire
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Jeff Alkire


Band Jazz World


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Voted New and Noteworthy in July 2007 edition - Alexander Gelfand

"Jazz Times"

Alto Saxophonist Jeff Alkire's third CD unfols lia pleasant stroll, with catch themes and a rich, intimate atmosphere. - Forrest Dylan Bryant

"Jazz USA"

The first song, "At This Moment", begins with a brief, floating intro by the entire ensemble, then the flute, trumpet and alto sax blend together in a tight, tantalizing delivery of the melody: a crisp, charming theme. The drummer uses brushes to paint accents and splashes of tasty rhythm/pulse - flashes, splashes, and flourishes that emphasize and highlight the best parts of each soloist's offering. Each of the front-line players takes a solo, each making an engaging statement. The acoustic bass weaves supple and supportive lines, binding the group together into a smooth, solid unit. When the bassist takes his solo, the sax, flute, and trumpet contribute harmonic texture that nicely compliments the bassist as he surfs the chord changes.

"Pancakes" jumps out at you, sizzling. It's an out-of-the ordinary tune, but attractively so. Playfully inventive, and just when you think that you know where the arrangement's going, they take you off you on a breath-taking ride through some exciting musical hairpin turns. And on this cut, the drummer and the pianist are featured in a musical pas de deu where each generously supports the other, yet each remains distinct and independent.

The title piece, "One Summer in Winters", is a thoughtful, reflective tonal event. An intriguing melody and an artful arrangement. Flute creating notes that are like delicate soap bubbles borne on a gentle breeze, floating up and away into the air. Great acoustic bass solo.

"Why": This performance is a pleasant reminder of why it's such a joy to listen to fine musicians play fine music. And finally a piano solo: it was worth having waited three songs to hear the pianist do his thing, especially since he provides such excellent support for the other players on this cut, as well as on the other cuts. A very creatively structured arrangement.

"Weaver of Dreams" is a standard song played in a standard way - kinda "loungy", as compared to most of the other songs on the CD, but in the hands of these players, you might feel the urge to actually get up and do a two-step with your honey.

On "Panama" a new set of musicians grab you by the collar and pull you along with them on a rousing rhythmic excursion that dances and bounces like water on a hot skillet. And then, in the end, the song evaporates like the water on a hot skillet.

This rendition of "All the Things You Are" isn't like any I've ever heard before. There's only Alkire on sax, accompanied by acoustic bass and drums (with brushes again). I liked it more than I thought I would.

"Barbara" is well and sweetly played, but the real gem is the extended, interesting, and expertly played acoustic bass solo.

The final cut, "November", is a like tender parting kiss: a fitting and satisfying conclusion. - Donald N. Eichelberger

"Cadence Magazine"

Together (3 bands featured on CD) they tackle the Straight-Ahead form with improvised solos around the room that drive with a rambling Bebop intensity. Alkire likes to share unison passages with flute or trumpet when the ensemble opens and closes a piece. During these encounters, he adds dissonant fires that create enough tension to give a session an edge. Alkire's ready alto tone stands out as a centerpiece of the album. - Jim Santella

"Jim Carnes"

He's been around the world and has played with some of the biggest names. Musically, you ,ight say saxophonist Jeff Alkire is a swinger. He has swung from playing with Ray Charles to Tony Bennett to John Lee Hooker. - Sacramento Bee

"Bruce VonStiers"

Jeff Alkire has studied at the Berklee College of Music and played with greats such as Ray Charles. He has toured with the Tommy Dorsey Big Band and many others. His latest album is a sheer delight. The title of the album is One Summer In Winters.

On the album Alkire plays the alto sax. He is joined by Craig Bailey on flute and alto flute. There is also Kelvin Sholar on piano and Esperanza Spalding on acoustic bass. Riley Mulluns is on trumpet and Steve Johns is the drummer.

At This Moment is the first song. It is one of four original compositions on the album. Soft and subtle, the song shows Alkire's wonderful talents on the sax.

The second song is Pancakes. It is another original tune. This start out with great drum and trumpet solos. It moves fairly fast and then slows down for a moderate pace.

The third song is the title track, One Summer In Winters. Alkire explains that that song came from a summertime stay at a "rustic house atop golden grass covered hills outside Winters, California ." This is a gentle song that reflects a quiet nature respite. The song has some great flute music.

The piano is up front on the Victor Lewis song, Why. The song has some terrific horns. Then things move into subtle sax mode with Weaver of Dreams.

Another original composition, Panama , changes up the personnel a bit. Helping Alkire out on the song are Chuck MacKinnon, Art Hirahara, Chris Lightcap and Allison Miller. MacKinnon is on trumpet, with Hirahara is on piano and Lightcap is on acoustic bass. Miller plays the drums on the song. The song is a bit different that you'd expect from the title. Instead of a fast paced tune, it is a gentler piece with moderate trumpet.

Alkire brings forth a good rendition of the classic All The Things You Are. On this one Darek Oles is on acoustic bass and Lorca Hart is on drums. Alkire is the featured player on this song.

I really liked the song, Barbara. This Horace Silver song was extremely well done.

The last song on the album was November. Again the piano begins the song, slowly folding in the other instruments for a soft and gentle ending to the album.

Listening to the album I can see where Jeff Alkire is in big demand. His sax playing is very good and he seems to have gathered some top notch musicians to play on the album with him.

One Summer In Winters is available through CD Baby.

To learn more about Jeff Alkire and One Summer In Winters, visit - BVS Reviews


One Summer in Winters
Jeff Alkire: Release pending

Another Day
Jeff Alkire and John Stowell:
Independent (2003)

City Block
Erika Schwartz: UCLA (2000). My
composition “Atenu Akpoe Gake
Mega de Asi Enu o” serves as
the score for this animated short
film shown at several festivals.

Edge of the Earth
Art Hirahara Group: Independent

Tak'in Notes
Jeff Alkire: Independent (1998).
Consists primarily of my straight
ahead jazz originals performed
with Darek Oleskiewicz, Larry
Koonse, Lorca Hart and Benny

Cal Arts Jazz 98
CalArts Jazz Program: Capitol
Records (1998). Includes my
originals “White and Green” and
“Little Sister”

Cal Arts Jazz 97
CalArts Jazz Program: Capitol
Records (1997). Includes my
originals “Some Birds Like to
Fly” and “Atenu Akpoe Gake
Mega de Asi Enu o”

Cal Arts Jazz 96
CalArts Jazz Program: Capitol
Records (1996). Includes my
original “Promise”

My Colors
Roger Smith Group: JVC (1996)

Unreleased cut (1985). My
original tune recorded with
Bobby Shew and John Patitucci



Jeff has toured the world performing as a saxophonist with the likes of Ray
Charles, John Lee Hooker, Terry Gibbs, Joe Farrell, Charlie Haden, Art Lande,
Chuck Isreals, Eddie Marshall, Bobby Shew, John Patitucci and John Stowell.
Jeff studied at Berklee College of Music and California Institute of the Arts
where he earned B.F.A. and M.F.A. degrees in Jazz Performance. After
graduating, he moved to Australia to join the Jazz Studies program as a full-
time faculty member of Adelaide University. Now back in the States, Jeff
teaches jazz courses at several colleges in California, repairs instruments and
performs his music.