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Alessi, Ralph: Baida

Baida is the ECM Records debut as a bandleader for trumpet veteran Ralph Alessi, and he's brought along with him on this excursion pianist Jason Moran, double bassist Drew Gress, and drummer Nasheet Waits. The New York trumpeter is no stranger to the bustling NYC jazz scene, honing his chops over the years with such artists as Steve Coleman, Uri Caine, Ravi Coltrane, Fred Hersch, and Don Byron, but he's settled into the role of leader here quite nicely.

Saddled up next to another hot shot player in Moran was a stroke of genius, as they two feed off each other in daring fashion throughout Baida, with the rumbling bass of Gress and Waits' tricky rhythms bubbling and boiling underneath. Tunes like "Shank", "Chuck Barris", and "Gobble Goblins" go in all sorts of different directions, Alessi's stabbing trumpet bleating through the mix while Moran comps away, the leader eventually giving way to the pianist so he can then blaze away on the ivories. Not all the pieces are raucous however, with mellower fare like "Throwing Like a Girl", "In Flight Entertainment" and the title track showing the more tender side to the quartet as they offer up restrained arrangements highlighted by emotional melodies from both Alessi & Moran.

Ralph Alessi has shown here that he's not only a bold soloist but also a capable songwriter, and with a crack band to help execute his vision, Baida is a winner on all fronts. Let's hope for more from this quartet in the months and years ahead.

Track Listing
1. Baida 5:24
2. Chuck Barris 7:36
3. Gobble Goblins 4:04
4. In-Flight Entertainment 4:35
5. Sanity 4:46
6. Maria Lydia 5:46
7. Shank 4:44
8. I Go, You Go 6:13
9. Throwing Like A Girl 5:53
10. 11/1/20 6:08
11. Baida (Reprise) 3:32

Added: September 7th 2013
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Artist Website
Hits: 1833
Language: english

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