Friday, January 10, 2014

Ralph Alessi, Baida

The trumpet has over the more than 100 years of jazz we know of become an instrument of central importance. I don't need to tell you this. But think of it. The trumpet is to jazz as the violin is to classical music. It's a pivotal instrument. (Just like the tenor is to the pianoforte in the two genres; but then the piano is to the piano, too!)

And Ralph Alessi is right there these days doing a pivotal advanced action. Sure there are others, too. A lot of very good ones out there. But listen to him on the recent Baida (ECM 2321) and you'll know he is in with the heavies.

There's a quartet of great players on this. Ralph, Jason Moran on piano, Drew Gress, bass, and Nasheet Waits on drums. They play around with rock-funk in a post-Milesian mode without channeling any of the usual riffs, just building off the feel and playing themselves along with Alessi compositional lines. They have free moments, they swing, and there is original music. That's what hits me especially--this music is a conceptual step ahead in feel, original compositional lines melding with state-of-the-art improvisation.

I don't need to tell you about these players if you know the music today, except to say they are in great form and Ralph shows you what he is made of!

I may be reviewing this one a little later than usual, but a couple of months doesn't change the fact that this album steps up to the plate and nails one out of here. Listen!!

No comments:

Post a Comment