Jazz CD of the Month: Eric Alexander / Chicago Fire / High Note

May 1, 2014

On Chicago Fire, Eric Alexander demonstrates again why he is one of the busiest saxophonists on today's jazz scene. Alexander has a fully developed voice on the saxophone and can blow with the best of them. Harold Mabern, one of the greatest jazz pianists ever, is in the studio, as is bassist John Webber and drummer Joe Farnsworth.  Additionally, special guest Jeremy Pelt steps in for a few tracks and demonstrates his mainstream credentials. This gathering of total professionals creates a smoking session!

This date is a tribute to some of the legends of Chicago Jazz. Chicago Fire begins with the searching "Save Your Love For Me". An in-the-pocket rendition of "The Bee Hive" yields to "Eddie Harris", which pays tribute to this legendary saxophonist. On "Just One of Those Things" the band presents the jazz standard at a racetrack tempo. "Blueski for Vonski" slows down the pace and is a tribute to the towering giant of Chicago jazz, Von Freeman, who was a contemporary of the founding fathers of jazz saxophone. A total of eight swinging selections are presented on this highly-recommended date.

Some of Eric Alexander's other recordings include:

1994/Full Range/Criss Cross     
1995/Eric Alexander in Europe/Criss Cross     
1995/Up, Over & Out album/Delmark     
1996/Two of a Kind/Criss Cross     
1998/Mode for Mabes/Delmark     
1999/Man with a Horn/Milestone
1999/Alexander the Great/ High Note     
2000/The First Milestone/Milestone
2001/The Second Milestone/ Milestone
2001/Live at Smoke/Criss Cross     
2002/Summit Meeting/Milestone
2003/Nightlife in Tokyo/Milestone
2004/Dead Center/High Note     
2005/The Battle: Live at Smoke/High Note     
2006/It's All in the Game/ High Note
2007/Temple of Olympic Zeus/ High Note
2007/My Favorite Things/ Tokuma Records     
2008/Gentle Ballads, Vol. 2/Tokuma Records     
2008/Prime Time: In Concert/High Note
2009/Revival of the Fittest/High Note  
2011/Don't Follow the Crowd/ High Note
2012/Friendly Fire: Live at Smoke /High Note     
2013/Touching/ High Note    

Having watched Eric Alexander develop as a saxophonist over the last 15 years and release many increasingly satisfying recordings, the current disc is probably one of the best of his career thus far.  Alexander shows no sign of ending his continued recording projects and performances to enthusiastic jazz audiences worldwide.

In addition to his work as an internationally acclaimed saxophonist Eric Alexander is also a composer and clinician. For more information you may visit