Recorded at the storied Rudy Van Gelder Studios in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, Eric Alexander's 2014 effort, Chicago Fire, finds the tenor saxophonist paying tribute to the city that helped shape his sound and career. Having studied with pianist and Chicago native Harold Mabern while at William Patterson College, Alexander established himself in the Windy City after graduating in the early '90s. He has worked with Mabern ever since and their mutual love and musical synergy is palpable here. Also backing Alexander are his longtime compatriots bassist John Webber and drummer Joe Farnsworth. Trumpeter and High Note labelmate Jeremy Pelt also joins in on several cuts. As with all of Alexander's output, Chicago Fire is a no-nonsense set of original and cover songs that showcases his passionate, swinging, straight-ahead jazz sound.
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AllMusic Review by Matt Collar