Not exactly the sounds I was expecting – quite a great surprise!
When four outstanding musicians meet jazz classics – just lean and listen, it’ll be a safe trip.
The morning of a new day, surprising sounds to match the moment.
Sunday is almost over – it pleases me how this music is so reassuring – keeping fears and doubts in the distance.
How many times do we feel transported into distant places call it new dimension if you prefer?
Sunday is coming to its end, the music seems to stop the passage of time – I like that.
There are magic moments when an artist can be said to have well and truly “arrived.” For Ralph Alessi, the release of Baida – his ECM debut as a bandleader – is just such a moment, despite his already extensive resume. Among those in the know, Alessi is renowned as a musician’s musician, a first-call New York trumpeter who can play virtually anything on sight and has excelled as an improviser in groups led by Steve Coleman, Uri Caine, Ravi Coltrane, Fred Hersch and Don Byron, as well as leading his own bands. But Alessi has created something breathtaking with Baida, an album sure to beguile a wider audience with its atmospheric depth and melodic allure. To voice his suite of compositions, the trumpeter has convened a powerhouse New York band with pianist Jason Moran, bassist Drew Gress and drummer Nasheet Waits. As a vessel for the album’s seemingly bottomless lyricism, this quartet of virtuosos plays with extraordinary finesse; but there is also a tensile strength emanating from the performances, a muscularity that one can feel. Then there is the silver of Alessi’s trumpet tone; as The New York Times has said, it has “a rounded luminescence, like the moon in full phase.”
RALPH ALESSI trumpet
JASON MORAN piano
DREW GRESS double bass
NASHEET WAITS drums
On these 10 pieces he sounds quietly wired and fascinated by what his partners are firing at him, while not remotely detached from his signature virtues of tonal purity and unflustered invention.
More open, more translucent and somehow more intrinsically pure, Baida welcomes Alessi to a label whose instinctive ability to find and draw out good music where it lives remains both unparalleled and fundamental to its ongoing success and reputation.
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