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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015
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Mr.Roland Alexander had passed away wednesday night June 14,2006 at Maimonnes hospital in Brooklyn,New York with family at his side.60's local icon and friend to Jazz tenor saxophonist,composor,teacher,pianist,community activist,local hero and a true firebrand from the progressive 1960's. he had a hard driving style and a dark explosive sound like Joe Henderson or Sam Rivers but with original ideas and and usually good rhythm sections in tow. he has at least a dozen recordings dating back from 1963 self titled debut album to the seventies "live at the Axsis" a now defunct Manhatten club. you can do a Google search or go to Amazon for recordings still in print. i do hope everyone will at least give this gentle giant a listen...
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2008-
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Roland Alexander R.I.P

I looked long and hard a few years ago for his first record as a leader "Pleasure bent"on New Jazz.A hard bop masterpiece.
He also played piano (!)with Coltrane on the Transition sampler(one and only track)
and was featured on the Jon gordon lp on strata east.
He was a true original.
Rest in peace.
Sam Phipps
 

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I had the chance to work with Roland in the Brooklyn Repertory Ensemble. We both played tenor in the band and I got to sit next to one of the giants of the music. His approach to playing was very personal, and his solos seemed to develop from a very deep and mysterious source. His playing had a beauty that I cannot begin to describe here. I was in awe of the man. Very down to earth, generous and gentle. I will miss Roland Alexander.
 

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"Roland Alexander Lives!"

Yeah! Roland certainly lives - Although he grew up in Cambridge, he studied and plyed his trade in Boston. Roland was a prodigy and was loved and respected by musicians from all era's. A musicians musician and a gentleman's gentleman who shared his talent and his gifts with all comers. For those of you who may not know -Roland was blessed by Bird himself on the stage of The High Hat in Boston during a jam session on a sunday afternoon back in the mid-fifties. Bird would not let Roland leave the stage -but kept urging him on. I always remember Bird standing off to the side of the stage watching and listening to Roland - every time Roland took his horn out of his mouth Bird would say: "Keep on Playing little Brother, keep on blowing, it's all right!" That experience was replicated on a daily basis for the rest of his life with most of the giants of Jazz who passed his way -Oh! By the way -he was about fifteen or sixteen during that encounter with Bird. I was there for the whole set, and was equally blessed. It set a precedent that lives on to this day. For those of us who had the pleasure to have known him and played with him over the years, I can firmly say, like Bird: "Roland Lives!" He was indeed, a 'Gentle Giant!"
Daoud A. Haroon /Trombonist
 
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