Wednesday, January 27, 2016

USA: Ralph Alessi Quartet , Ralph Alessi , Gary Versace , Drew Gress , Nasheet Waits - Quiver(ECM 2016)

Ralph Alessi: trumpet
Gary Versace: piano
Drew Gress: double-bass
Nasheet Waits: drums

Trumpeter Ralph Alessis ECM leader debut 2013s Baida was the album where everything came together for him, according to Nate Chinen in a JazzTimes profile. Without abandoning his yen for oppositional energies, its a beautifully coherent statement, not just his most accomplished album but a contender for one of the years best.

Baida indeed went on to become the most lauded release of Alessis career, with The New York Times praising the music for its balance of elegant precision and power.

With Quiver, Alessi teams with pianist Gary Versace and the trumpeters longtime rhythm section of choice bassist Drew Gress and drummer Nasheet Waits to create a follow-up of quicksilver melodicism and subtly energized rhythm; there is a lyricism to Alessis playing that channels such forebears as Miles Davis and Kenny Wheeler, the mood reflective, even pensive.

As DownBeat says, Alessi works between the notes, his thoughtful, conversational solos as meditative as a calligraphers art, each line free-flowing and declarative but with immaculate shape and beauty.