Sunday, November 1, 2009

RJA Press Release for Ralph Alessi and This against That

The last concert of our fall season is with trumpeter Ralph Alessi and
his quintet This Against That on Monday, November 9 at 8 p.m. in the
Kate Buchanan Room. Tickets are $15 general admission and $10 for
students and seniors and can be purchased at the Works in Arcata and
Eureka, Peoples Records and Missing Link Records in Arcata and online

Jazz Times magazine says Alessi has "drop-dead trumpet chops" and
calls his music "as clean and airy and sophisticated and disciplined
as post-modern progressive jazz gets.” Ralph Alessi was born in San
Rafael, the son of classical trumpeter Joe Alessi. (Brother Joe Jr.
is principal trombonist of the New York Philharmonic, and Ralph
himself freelanced with the San Francisco Symphony as he was coming up
through the ranks.) But after taking degrees in jazz trumpet and bass—
he studied under the legendary Charlie Haden at CalArts—he lit out for
New York, where he swiftly became an ubiquitous presence on the
downtown scene. He's been a frequent collaborator of such notable
musicians as Steve Coleman, Don Byron, Ravi Coltrane, Uri Caine, Fred
Hersch, Dafnis Prieto and Jason Moran—most of whom have also played
and recorded in Alessi’s own groups. Alessi has recorded five albums
of originals which draw on everything from post-bop to neo-classical.
Jazz Times named This Against That's debut outing one of the ten best
recordings of 2002, while All About Jazz dubbed its 2007 follow-up
"Look" “an outstanding work of intellect and fire.”

This Against That’s current roster includes several A-list sidemen:

Tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby has been a member of Charlie Haden’s
Liberation Music Orchestra and Paul Motian’s Electric Bebop Band. The
New York Times put his debut album, "Sabino", among its top ten jazz
records of 2000.

Toronto-born pianist Andy Milne was voted “Rising Star Keyboardist” in
the 2004 DownBeat Readers Poll, and his band Dapp Theory blends jazz
with funk and hip-hop.

A partial list of bassist Ben Street's many credits includes tours and
recordings with Danilo Perez, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Roswell Rudd, Paul
Motian, Lee Konitz, David Sanchez, James Moody, Mark Turner, Ethan
Iverson, Clark Terry, and Sam Rivers.

Drummer Mark Ferber was raised in San Francisco and took a BA in
Geography at UCLA while studying classical percussion with Mitchell
Peters and drums with Billy Higgins. Since moving to New York, he has
worked and played with Lee Konitz, Norah Jones, Fred Hersch, and Larry
Goldings, among many others.

A leading figure in jazz education. Alessi is the founder and director
of Brooklyn’s School for Improvision (SIM), which is playing an
influential role in development of jazz’s next generation. In a
departure from usual RJA practice, Alessi and his band will conduct a
master class with selected local student musicians the afternoon of
his concert. The master class is at 1 p.m. on Monday, November 9 in
room 131 of the HSU Music Building. The public is invited to attend
for free as observers.

You can read more about Ralph Alessi and his bandmates in This Against
That and hear streaming audio of their music at

We'll see you at the show!

The Redwood Jazz Alliance

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