The Jazzcat

Ralph Alessi & This Against That at the Redcat

by on Mar.21, 2007, under News


Slide Show

The music of the new millennium is changing and with that

change comes broader ideas, different colors, angles and approaches to jazz

music.  The four walls of the box

collapse as groups today are not calling themselves trios, quartets or quintets

anymore.  Those terms are so etched in

people’s memories that they think that they know the music before they even

hear one note.


The Jazzcat at the Redcat, how apropos!  This is my first time at this venue to see a

performance and it is an absolutely wonderful place to listen and hear the

intricacies of the music. Tonight, trumpet player Ralph Alessi & This Against That

is playing and this is a perfect venue for their music especially because the

room has such natural acoustic sound dynamics. 

Usually cats start playing with such high intensity to get an audience

going.  This set begins with serenity and

peace.  It establishes the precedence

that invites the audience to experience the fine intricate and delicate

qualities of the music.  Each instrument

not only has its own voice but, is given plenty of open space in which

cognition transfers into poetic justice. The instruments are caressed as the

light sensitive touch coddles our souls.


No words are necessary; don’t explain.  The music is the language that globally

communicates and connects with our inner core. This is a journey within a

fantastic voyage on rivers of emotions and streams of consciousness.  The band is composed of some of the phenomenal

musicians.  My good friend from Brooklyn, New

York, Andy Milne is on piano and has always

approached the music from thought provoking angles that trickle down on bright

brilliance. Ben Street

on bass plays clean, clear distinct notes ever present and always communicating

at frequencies that register as vibrating reverberation refracting sound from

our bodies. Gerald Cleaver on drums tinkles, tings and brushes his sweeping

rhythms that peculate with light precipitation; nourishing the other trees so

they can breathe in the fresh air.


 Ravi Coltrane’s notes

are like a plethora of rose petals cascading over the generous portions of a

woman’s beautiful curves. The music is seamless as the transparent transition

travels into other dimensions of exploration. 

A call, a search, a messenger gently bestowing peaceful blessings.  One long mouth watering suite taste and the

thirst is quenched.


Each of these five individuals are provided with such a

strong foundation of support.  The music

is so healing; the audience does not want to interfere.  They are treating these pieces like classical

music in a sense where they are holding their applause at the end.  The energy has then locked in and fixed on

the music.


Ralph has located the eye in the storm where silence, peace

and sublime beauty are all encompassing. 

No fear of danger and the rays of light warm our spirits. This is

peaceful, powerful music that takes you out of reality and focuses within. A

close encounter with you, yourself and the music!


LeRoy Downs

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