Saxophonist & Composer


Steppin' Up


Eric is originally from Houston, Texas. He established a musical foundation with classical piano before finding his way to the tenor saxophone. His musical influences range from traditional jazz, blues, classical, 70's jazz fusion, rock, as well as various genres of electronic and popular music. In addition to the saxophone he doubles on numerous instruments including piano, bass, bass clarinet, clarinet, flute, guitar and vibraphone. Utilizing his diverse palette, Eric has composed, arranged, and performed in a wide range of musical styles.
Although currently residing in Los Angeles, Eric began his professional career in Austin, Texas. While living in Austin, he met drummer Gerry Gibbs and soon joined both his Thrasher Sextet and Big Band. It was during this time that Eric started playing the baritone saxophone and quickly disovered a voice on the instrument. The baritone has been an integral part of his musical arsenal ever since.

"Listening to Eric Hargett play on his new album reminds me of all the great bebop players of my era. Whether it be the tenor sax or the baritone sax, it's got that great feeling. To me a good solo is that after you hear it a few times you can wind up singing that solo and that's how Eric plays. It's my type of playing and listening to."

- Terry Gibbs

"Eric Hargett's playing has it immediately identifiable sound, great time and sense of phrasing, soulful with a sophisticated harmonic concept, and deep roots in the jazz and blues tradition. He knocked me out and can't wait to hear more..."

- Gary Smulyan

"Listening to the blustery baritone sax lines on the opening track from his auspicious debut as a leader, one might get the idea that Eric Hargett is mining the same soul jazz/hard bop territory that bari ace Ronnie Cuber established with the George Benson Quartet on 1966's Cookbook. That potent Cuberesque quality on the title track is only the beginning of this musical journey showcasing the rising star saxophonist in the company of drummer and longtime colleague /Whaling City Sound label-mate Gerry Gibbs and Hammond B-3 organ killer Joey DeFrancesco. Recorded in just one day in Hargett's home base of Los Angeles, Steppin' Up reveals a saxophonist who is comfortable in a myriad of settings, from '70s styled funk to burning bebop, real-deal blues and lyrical ballads. There's even a touch of drum 'n' bass thrown into the mix on this ambitious outing. And savvy veterans Gibbs and DeFrancesco are flexible enough to provide just the right feel in every setting."

- Bill Milkowski

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