There is something very deep about the way Ralph Alessi sculpts his compositions and arranges his playing situations. Everything seems sealed in his own world. His approach sits alongside the way Kenny Wheeler used to create spaces not dissimilar to ‘Oxide,’ above, which is taken from Imaginary Friends (ECM), the US trumpeter’s new album with Ravi Coltrane, Andy Milne, Drew Gress and Mark Ferber to be released on 1 February. Alessi manages to sound utterly alone even in the company of these fine players. There is an exactness to the effect and when the tune unspools to reveal a solo from Milne that microscopic detail is there but gives way then to a plangent anthem shaped by trumpet and sax reprised from before and suddenly the individual becomes a collective endeavour once again. Have a listen.
Catch them in Derry on Tues 5 Feb with a lunchtime appearance in Magee, Ulster University and also that evening at Bennigans Bar; Wed 6 Feb in the Bello bar, Dublin; Thu 7 Feb at Billy Byrnes in Kilkenny; Fri 8 Feb in the Black Gate Cultural Centre, Galway; and Sun 10 Feb at the Bobo Cafe restaurant of The Glucksman, Cork (for a 2pm gig).