Alexander has great taste and style but can be a bit of a retro guilty pleasure but that’s not an issue at all from a band you’d want to hear live especially as Alexander teams with the much talked about trumpeter Jeremy Pelt on three tracks the pair vibing off each other backed by long time Alexander drummer Joe Farnsworth, bassist John Webber, and Alexander’s former teacher, Memphis pianist Harold Mabern. 

The album is soaked in Chicago jazz lore. That fine documenter of the Chicago scene photographer/writer Michael Jackson has always sung the praises of Vonski and Alexander, like Jacko, makes sure the late Vonski, Von Freeman, gets his dues on ‘Blueski for Vonski’, and the ‘Eddie Harris’ tune Alexander has penned also makes the right kind of connections, as does the Johnny Griffin homage on ‘Just One of Those Things’. There’s also a tribute written by Mabern to an old Chicago club the Bee Hive, as Doug Ramsey, in the excellent notes, explains. Chicago Fire feels as if it was not recorded in Van Gelder’s place at Englewoood Cliffs but in some lounge in the Windy City when everyone is living for the moment and digging the scene. Enjoy this one.