On Friday, May 16th New Haven's Firehouse 12
will present a two-set performance by New York trumpeter/composer Ralph Alessi and his all-star quintet, This Against That. The group, which skillfully blends jazz with pop and contemporary classical music, features saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, pianist Andy Milne, bassist Drew Gress and drummer Mark Ferber. This performance will follow the band's European tour (Italy, France, Switzerland and the UK) and feature Alessi's meditative compositions ranging from song forms to pieces featuring free improvisation.
Critics called the band's second and most recent release, 2007's Look (Between the Lines), an impressive new album" (Nate Chinen, New York Times), intelligent, entertaining and stimulating" (Dave Wayne, jazzreview.com), a quality release from a quality ensemble" (Kevin Le Gendre, Jazzwise) and a solid example of Alessi and his colleagues using both the inside and the outside to their creative advantage" (Alex Henderson, All Music Guide). AllAboutJazz.com's Mark F. Turner adds, The group is excellent at executing Alessi's eclectic and original pieces and making them enjoyable and seductively challenging. Look is an exceptional work by one of today's top trumpet players."
A native of the San Francisco Bay area, Alessi has been an integral member of New York's creative music scene since 1991. His eclectic discography includes multiple recordings with such frequent collaborators as Don Byron, Uri Caine, Steve Coleman, Fred Hersch and Sam Rivers. He also performs with the Jamie Baum Septet, Drew Gress and 7 Black Butterflies, the Jason Moran Octet and the Josh Roseman Project among other ensembles. His work as a leader includes four recordings and tours across the United States and Europe with his groups, the Ralph Alessi Quartet and This Against That. Also well-known as an educator, Alessi is the founder and current director of the non-profit School for Improvisational Music in Brooklyn and a member of the jazz faculty at New York University.
2008 Spring Jazz Series schedule:
03/14 :: David Torn's Prezens
03/21 :: Susie Ibarra Trio
03/28 :: Dezron Douglas Quintet
04/04 :: Aaron Goldberg Trio
04/11 :: Joe Morris Quartet
04/18 :: Peter Brotzmann/Han Bennink Duo
04/25 :: Andy LaVerne's One Of A Kind
05/02 :: BassDrumBone
05/09 :: Miguel Zenon Quartet
05/16 :: Ralph Alessi & This Against That
05/23 :: Min Xiao-Fen's Asian Trio
05/30 :: Amir ElSaffar's Two Rivers
06/06 :: Ben Wolfe Quartet
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