‘Firetet’ is both the name of the album and the band which originally grew out of a jam session held by Alexander in a Chicago Pizzeria back in 2017. Initially inspired by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers and trumpeters Clifford Brown, Nicholas Payton, and Sean Jones, Alexander set out to records an album which allowed him to demonstrate his hard bop style and allow all of the musicians to show their wares. The result is not an album which is overly trumpet heavy, but instead feels very much like a band release. Alexander plays in Roy Mcgrath’s band, and here Roy (tenor sax) returns the favour, and they are joined by Greg Essig (drums), Ben Dillinger (acoustic bass), and Julius Tucker (piano) while Alexander gives us both trumpet and flugelhorn.

Just seven songs, but a playing time of 53 minutes. These are not jam sessions with session musicians, as so often can be the case, but instead this is a group of musicians who know each other well. This allows for some wonderful duets between Roy and Constantine, with the rhythm section deep in the pocket and Julius filling the melodic gap. The musicians are all on fire, and know their parts and more importantly each other, which allows them to stretch and create something which is vital and real. Recorded in just two days in March 2023, this is a delight for all jazz lovers as everyone is just so tight with each other as they lead and retire, swell and diminish. Well worth investigating.

Rating: 8/10