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MP3 Neal Alger - Here and Now, There and Before

Soulful modernistic jazz spiced with elements of R&B, pop, shake and Romance music; music grounded in the past but clearly looks to the future.

9 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Unearthly Jazz, JAZZ: Jazz Fusion

Here and Now, There and Before Songs

It makes hone feel that Neal Alger's jazz guitar style and compositions reflect a variety of styles and approaches. Over the years, Neal has played different kinds of music and they've continued to influence him up to this day. For example, Neal performed hard rock/heavy metal as a teenager and co-wrote nearly all of the music in his first rock band entitled Requiem.

Right before and during college, the jazz bug caught Neal and he began listening to legends like saxophonist Charlie Parker and pianist Chick Corea. While participating in Northern Illinois University's Jazz Ensemble, Neal had the privilege of sharing the stage with Clark Terry, Tito Puente, Claudio Roditi, and Jon Faddis. These artists unknowingly started Neal's love for Brazillian and Afro-Cuban music as well as straight-ahead jazz.

After graduating from NIU with a bachelors' degree in jazz guitar performance, Neal moved to Chicago and has been freelancing there ever since. Neal has performed or recorded with Lin Halliday, Howard Levy, Grazyna Augusick, Leslie Gore, Ed Thigpen, and most notably, singer/pianist Patricia Barber. Neal has toured the U.S., Canada, and Europe with Patricia and is featured on her upcoming release "Live: A Fortnight in France" to be released in Sept. 2004 on Blue Note Records.

In addition to modernistic jazz, Neal's ever-expanding musical curiosity has led him to play in other groups which play styles only marginally related to jazz. Neal plays classic rock covers with Cast Iron Skillet, 20th-century classical music with HardArt Groop, and R&B/funk/hip-hop with vocalists Typhanie Monique (Blujazz records)and KFox (DefSoul records).

In the fall of 1999, Neal toured West Africa as a "Jazz Ambassador" as part of a cultural exchange program sponsored by the State Department. This experience furthered Neal's adoration of Afro-based music as well as enlightening him to the generosity and warmth of the African people. In discovering the disturbing financial situation and the lack of musical resources in West Africa, Neal organized a MusicAfrica benefit concert in May 2001 which was a resounding success. The proceeds from the concert were used to purchase items such as guitar strings, CD's, manuscript paper, and sax reeds to send over to various West African countries.

Neal's latest project is a duo CD with vocalist Typhanie Monique titled "Intrinsic" which was released in October 2004 on BluJazz records. Typhanie and Neal have built a unique musical partnership that crosses the boundaries of jazz into the terrain of R&B/Soul, pop/shake and other styles. Their shared love for music with a soulful groove has formed the basis of their musical explorations that are found on "Intrinsic".

Neal's philosophy on music has always been that regardless of genre, if it's good music then it's good music. He believes that every genre has something of value to offer.


Alger "matches jazzman dexerity and harmonic mastery with rockist tone". - Jon Garelick, Boston Phoenix

Alger "projects a temperate, mid-toned electric sound to augment his tone-sculpting accents and well-timed volume control manipulations. Alger economizes in lieu of instituting an array of technical gymnastics" - Glenn Astarita, Downbeat magazine

Neal is "an outstanding guitar player that never overplays and never forgets that his role is that of an accompanist". - Roman St. James, https://www.tradebit.com

Neal's "playing ranges from contemplative acoustic solos to searing, pointillist electric accents". - John Swenson, Stereophile magazine

Alger "effortlessly steals the show no matter whether he is soloing or merely comping" - Larry Hollis, Cadence magazine

"Liquid tone, careful diction, and an aura of cool." - John Barrett, https://www.tradebit.com

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