January 19, 2013: Eric Alexander/Vincent Herring Quintet feat Harold Mabern

The Vincent Herring (alto sax), Eric Alexander (tenor sax) Quintet featuring Harold Mabern (piano) with Milan Nikolic (bass) and Joris Dudli (drums) visited us to give a master class.

Harold Mabern
Eric Alexander, Vincent Herring

Proceedings started with the quintet giving us a fantastic performance of Benny Golson’s “Stablemates”.

With Vincent Herring taking the lead, it was suggested that the attendees should form groups each of which could take it in turn performing tunes for some constructive criticism from the esteemed visitors.

We managed to rustle up three groups of six or seven players, the first of which performed “All The Things You Are”, the second “Autumn Leaves” and the last “Tenor Madness”. Kudos to the many members who got up and played without preparation or even a lead-sheet to fall back on.

Among the topics discussed by the visitors were Tone Production on the alto sax, the use of Motifs to create interest and structure in a solo, the use of diminished scales and the importance of being able to comp.

Eric Alexander talked about knowing your stuff:

Harold impressed on us the importance of really listening to the masters that have come before such as Tommy Flanagan for masterful comping and Kenny Burrell.

Finally the visiting quintet took the floor to perform “Tenor Madness”.

The Cambridge Jazz co-op would like to thank Eric, Vincent, Harold, Milan and Joris for coming to visit us and giving us a truly memorable day.