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Ralph Alessi: Cognitive Dissonance

Glenn Astarita By

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Track review of "Duel"

The jazz community welcomes trumpeter Ralph Alessi's keen compositional and superior technical skills. As a solo artist and first-call session ace, Alessi is adept at fusing disparate jazz-related styles into a singular voice. With his Cam Jazz debut, the trumpeter executes a diverse, polytonal environ, featuring laudable and like-minded jazz instrumentalists—a band that spins a symmetrical panorama, touched with rhythmic complexities and memorable hooks.

"Duel" is underpinned with a loping funk-rock groove, augmented by Alessi's off-kilter and, at times, quirky phrasings. The trumpeter tosses a few delightful curve balls into the mix by rendering angular unison choruses with pianist Jason Moran, leading to a spunky ostinato vamp. With the musicians conjuring notions of a friendly duel (if there is such a thing), Alessi proclaims a few bars of yearning story lines to contrast an album that offers an open-air set of musical events, intermixed with sinuous metrics, chutzpah and temperance.

Track Listing: Cognitive Dissonance; Buying, Selling; Dog Waking ; Duel; A Plenty; One Wheeler Will; Sir; Goodbye Ruth's; HairTrigger; Better Not To Know; Sunflower; Same Old Story; Option 8; Wait; Goodbye Ruths (slow).

Personnel: Ralph Alessi: trumpet; Drew Gress: double-bass; Jason Moran: piano (1-6, 8-11, 13-15); Andy Milne: piano (7, 12); Nasheet Waits: drums.

Title: Cognitive Dissonance | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: CAM Jazz

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