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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 instrumentalistsa 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.
Personnel: Ralph Alessi: trumpet; Drew Gress: double-bass; Jason Moran: piano; Nasheet Waits: drums.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.