Dick Oatts and Kenny Garrett come first to my mind as established top altoists. (By the way, I don't put Phil Woods into this category -- for me he's beyond this range, not Top Altoist but more like Alto Deity...)
Other guys I'm loving: Will Vinson!! Check out this (devastating!) YouTube to see what he's about and if he's for you (just listen to the audio -- watching the video can induce a seizure):
Somebody way off the radar screen who I love is Rémi Bolduc in Montreal; check out this video with Jerry Bergonzi(!!):
Jaleel Shaw is an occasional SOTWer; here he is on All The Things You Are:
Joris Roelofs in the Netherlands is terrifying:
There are so many that I'm forgetting it's a crime!
Miguel Zenon- fantastic player, check him out!
Antonio Hart- had the chance to see him live last year and really loved his sound and ideas.
Rudresh Mahanthappa- one of the most original voices I've heard on alto, his album "Apex" was really interesting.
Justin Robinson is pretty cool, though he hasn't done a lot of solo/leader stuff (and I haven't heard any of it). He plays in Roy Hargrove's quintet. I do find he over plays a bit on the studio stuff I've heard (though that might just be for my taste). There's a live version of Strasbourg/St. Denis on youtube where he absolutely kills it though. (actually, here it is. I just had to have another listen to it.
Jacam Manricks is quite good as well (his album Trigonometry is very cool). I recommend catching him live if you can, especially as I'm not too sure how available his recordings are (there are some samples on his site).
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