Music: Jovan Alexandre’s virtuosic jazz saxophone Fri., Sept. 2

Jovan_Alexandre_WebTenor saxophonist Jovan Alexandre  performs at Best Video Performance Space on Friday, Sept. 2. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Alexandre will be accompanied by Tadataka Unno on piano.

Jovan Alexandre is an emerging jazz tenor saxophone phenomenon, known for the brightness of his tone and the elegant bearing of his compositions. He may be situated, broadly speaking, within the penumbra of hard-bop and post-bop styles elaborated and taught in Alexandre’s native New England by the iconic Jackie McLean [1931-2006] during his later, seminal years as a Connecticut resident and educator.

Alexandre has been a soloist on recordings for drummers Ralph Peterson (Outer Reaches [2010]) and Winard Harper (Coexist, sharing the tenor spotlight with Frank Wess [2012]), and for the South African jazz singer Nonhlanhla Kheswa (Meadowlands, Stolen Jazz [2013]). Alexandre’s first album as a leader, Collective Consciousness, will be released worldwide on February 24, 2015.

Just as Jackie McLean himself had—in such albums for Blue Note as Let Freedom Ring [1962] and One Step Beyond [1963]—extrapolated upon both the lyricism and projection of a Charlie Parker or a Dexter Gordon and the angular modes and scales of John Coltrane, so has Jovan Alexandre revealed himself as a spiritual heir to McLean with authoritative and imaginative excursions into the free-flowing modernist colloquy pioneered by McLean.

Alexandre’s uniqueness, though, lies in his personal sound. He plays free of bombast, full of texture. His sound can variously seem molten and sharp-cornered within the same tune, sometimes practically within the same phrase. The melody lines are stately, whatever their tempo.

At Hartt, Alexandre’s primary mentor was Jackie McLean’s own son, tenor saxophonist René McLean. He also studied with other direct protégés of Jackie McLean, especially tenor saxophonist Jimmy Greene and alto saxophonist Kris Allen, along with pianist and arranger Chris Casey, trombonist Steve Davis, and bassist Nat Reeves. These instrumentalists are all key contributors to what some have called a “Hartford sound” grounded in Jackie McLean’s teachings and continuing influence, and especially his notions of historicity and the value of hand-to-hand transmission of jazz knowledge.

Even before graduating from Hartt, Alexandre had begun to earn a reputation as one of the most interesting of the new tenor saxophone soloists, through appearances with several top-name musicians such as Hank Jones,  Dionne Warwick, Curtis Fuller, Harold Mabern, Larry Willis, Charles Tolliver, Randy Brecker, Antoine Roney, Benito Gonzalez, Shimrit Shoshan, and Kendrick Oliver & The New Life Jazz Orchestra.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Tuesday, Aug. 30. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Wednesday, Aug. 31. BLUES/FOLK: CODA BLUE, THE RED HOTS

• Thursday, Sept. 1. ACOUSTIC BLUES/FOLK: DITTYMACK

• Friday, Sept. 2. JAZZ: JOVAN ALEXANDRE

• Sunday, Sept. 4. FREE AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM SPONSORED BY GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS

• Thursday, Sept. 8. INDIE POP: MISSION ZERO

• Friday, Sept. 9. ROCK: THE FURORS

• Monday, Sept. 12. FILM SCREENING: “ALL THE WAY”

• Wednesday, Sept. 14. INDIE ROCK/SINGER-SONGWRITER: QUIET GIANT (SOLO), THE REFECTORY

• Thursday, Sept. 15. FOLK/SOUL: CHRISSY GARDNER & ROBERT MESSORE

• Friday, Sept. 16. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Saturday, Sept. 17. BLUEGRASS/SWING: TOO BLUE

• Monday, Sept. 19. FILM SCREENING: “THIRTEEN DAYS”

• Thursday, Sept. 22. PIANO MUSIC: DONALD ALFANO

• Friday, Sept. 23. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SETH ADAM, EDDIE SEVILLE

• Sunday, Sept. 25. SURJ FILM SCREENING (3 PM): “RACE: THE POWER OF AN ILLUSION”

• Sunday, Sept. 25. FILM SCREENING (7 PM): “THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE”

• Tuesday, Sept. 27. SINGER-SONGWRITER: DANIELLE ATE THE SANDWICH, CK, GLUMPUPPET

• Wednesday, Sept. 28. BRAZILIAN CHORO MUSIC: ROGÉRIO SOUZA, EDINHO GERBER & STEPHEN GUERRA

• Thursday, Sept. 29. AMERICAN PRIMITIVE GUITAR: SWAMP YANKEE, ALEXANDER

• Friday, Sept. 30. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: SAMBELEZA

• Wednesday, Oct. 5. WINE TASTING WITH BOB FEINN OF MT. CARMEL WINE & SPIRITS

• Friday, Oct. 7. BLUEGRASS/NEW ACOUSTIC: JOE WALSH & FRIENDS (A GUITARTOWN CT PRODUCTION)

• Saturday, Oct. 8. THE NEW ENGLAND UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL

• Monday, Oct. 10. FILM SCREENING: “ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN”

• Friday, Oct. 14. CELTIC/APPALACHIAN: REELIN’ AWAY

• Sunday, Oct. 16. FILM SCREENING: “DR. STRANGELOVE…”

• Wednesday, Oct. 19. INDIE SINGER-SONGWRITER: STEPHEN CHOPEK

• Sunday, Oct. 23. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—JOHN HUSTON’S “THE MALTESE FALCON”

• Sunday, Oct. 30. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—JOHN HUSTON’S “THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE”

• Sunday, Nov. 6. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—JOHN HUSTON’S “THE ASPHALT JUNGLE”

• Sunday, Nov. 13. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—JOHN HUSTON’S “THE AFRICAN QUEEN”