This and That allows Alessi the freedom to present his varied influences with musicians that are capable of imparting his vision. "Haw Hee" has a classical feel with a hypnotic carnival beat. Byron's solo is super smooth after Alessi sets the mood. A martial drum and interesting Gilmore chords intersect to further convey the band's frame of mind. Alessi continues, "I try not to filter too much, there is classical plus world music in me. I also grew up loving 70s top 40 radio and I try not to edit anything out."
Many influences are apparent; including his complex M-Base days with Gilmore and a refreshingly honest offering based on the Ishmael Reed poem "I am a Cowboy in the Boat of Ra". The warm rich timbre of Julie Patton's voice is ethereally precise as she speaks over a marching beat. Alessi and Byron then wring out notes that conjure up Patton's imagery of "The hawk behind Sonny Rollins' head and the ritual beard of his axe." Alessi continues, "I played on the Steve Coleman matrix rappers CDs, and I became interested in the sound of the human voice used a certain way. On my Hissy Fit project with Modular Theatre we also used poetry. Julie uses her voice with the words as the focus and is a pitch genius. We are going in and out of the poem and take it to a lot of amazing places."
Ravi is already looking forward to the next RKM sessions; "People now know the label exists and people I know are sending me tapes. We are all about the music. I want to be different and we are looking at lots of different things." These consist of pianist Luis Perdomo leading a group that will include percussionist Ray Peterson and poet Julie Patton contributing her exquisitely textured voice to a full CD. One thing that listeners can be sure of is that what they hear from RKM will be an unfiltered presentation of an artist's performance and vision.
Visit RKM Music on the web at www.rkmmusic.com .