“Jovan Alexandre is one of the most exciting new voices to emerge on the tenor saxophone—conceptually—in a long time. A gifted composer, his personal sound can seem variously molten and sharp-cornered within the same tune, sometimes almost within the same phrase. There’s an understated, almost implied, restlessness in his solos… He has that rare originality everyone strives for, and he definitely has a promising future in front of him.” —René McLean Tenor saxophonist Jovan Alexandre’s debut album, Collective Consciousness
, is set to be released worldwide February 24 on Xippi Phonorecords. Collective Consciousness
spans years of composing and professional training with hard-bop and post-bop personalities including Alexandre’s mentor, tenor saxophonist René McLean (son of the iconic alto saxophonist Jackie McLean
), and features Alexandre’s talented ensemble: guitarist Andrew Renfroe, pianist Taber Gable, bassist Matt Dwonszyk and drummer Jonathan Barber. For years the group has made regular appearances in the jazz clubs of Connecticut, with the songs on Collective Consciousness
coming together organically over time. “It was like a puzzle,” Alexandre says. “I often wrote the forms, chords and hits before the melodies, with the endings taking shape before the beginnings—only later figuring out what the final order should be.”
Alexandre came into his own as a high school student at the Artists Collective in Hartford, an institution founded in 1970 by Jackie McLean. He was named Superior Musician in the Berklee High School Jazz Festival in 2005, 2006 and 2007 and was selected to be part of the Gibson/Baldwin Grammy Jazz Ensemble in 2007 as well. In 2011 he graduated with distinction from The Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz at The Hartt School, The University of Hartford’s music conservatory.
Alexandre has appeared as a guest artist on recordings by drummer Ralph Peterson
(2010’s Outer Reaches), drummer Winard Harper
(2012’s Coexist) and South African jazz singer Nonhlanhla Kheswa (2013’s Meadowlands, Stolen Jazz). He has shared the bandstand with numerous jazz luminaries such as Randy Brecker, Curtis Fuller, Benito Gonzalez, Hank Jones, Harold Mabern, Wynton Marsalis, Kendrick Oliver & The New Life Jazz Orchestra, Antoine Roney, Shimrit Shoshan, Charles Tolliver, Dionne Warwick, Frank Wess and Larry Willis.
COLLECTIVE CONSCIOUSNESS TRACKLIST
- Collective Consciousness
- To Music
- Stars in the Sky
- The Formula (for Kahlil Bell)
- They Say It’s Wonderful
- Red Blues