Wednesday, October 21, 2009

One For All: The Band Everyone Will Love

One For All (group)
Eric Alexander (tenor sax)
Jim Rotondi (trumpet)
Steve Davis (trombone)
David Hazeltine (piano)
John Webber (bass)
Joe Farnsworth (drums)

Often compared to Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers (a comparison the group admires), One For All is the ultimate collaboration effort of six stellar musicians performing in distinct unison since 1997. If you only a own couple of jazz albums or if you only want to own a couple of jazz albums, make one them from One For All.

The members of One For All perform separately with their own groups; Alexander, Rotondi and Hazeltine being the best known leaders, but together the band is as tight as any of the veteran rocks groups you would go to see. Influenced by the greats of the classic Blue Note Records era, One For All is a straight ahead hard bop group which can produce fierce and electrifying performances both live and on record. The group also brings a wonderful bluesy balladry to their arsenal led by the delicate stylings of David Hazeltine on piano. Eric Alexander and Jim Rotondi both can scorch the field with tonality on the sax and trumpet respectfully.

This is the type of group you expect to see when you go to a jazz show and this is the type of band that delivers on both record and on stage--Something that is extremely rare in today's environment. One For All has recorded over 15 albums (including rare Japanese sessions) and I could recommend them all but to make your journey to the record store (or online) a short one, you should check out their current album Return Of The Lineup (Criss Cross), or even an earlier album Upward And Onward (Criss Cross). Both albums showcase One For All's ability to shift from lush romanticism to blistering counterpoints within minutes.

A group that remains focused with their own projects, yet somehow comes together very frequently to consistently make sizzling and sophisticated records as group is a band that will be around for a long long time. You must check out One For All. They don't tour together often but if you see them or their separate groups coming to your town please go. In the meantime you should get one of their albums. I know you'll love them.

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