Steve Slagle is a warrior, fierce but yet gentle at times, as he creates on his alto sax and flute. Steve comes to his new release, “Alto Manhattan”, bringing with him the musical stages of his life; those with the large ensembles of Lionel Hampton, Mingus, Carla Bley, Machito and Charlie Haden. Stages with Jack McDuff, Joe Lovano, Ray Barretto, Stevie Wonder, Milton Nascimento and the Beastie Boys. There’s also the long running band he co-leads with guitarist Dave Stryker.
“Family” opens the recording full out with Slagle’s alto exchanging friendly fire with terrorist Lovano. Adde to the roux are pianist Lawrence Fields, bassist Gerald Cannon, drummer Bill Stewart and percussionist Roman Diaz.
McCoy Tyner’s “Inception” became a Slagle fave after he performed it with the legendary pianist. McCoy would dig this, pianist Fields providing the open space for Steve to groove.
“I Know That You Know” is a turn down, turn it out blues where everybody, like a high/low split, gets to declare.
One body. All soul. That’s Slagle’s solo venture on “Body & Soul”, an absolutely gorgeous one-take masterfully done.
“Viva La Familia” features Steve on flute in a latin groove infectious enough to press play again.
And again. Steve Slagle’s “Alto Manhattan” comes out January 6 from Panorama Records.