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Ralph Alessi: This Against That

The moniker This Against That refers back to the title of Ralph Alessi’s 2002 album, but it could also refer to the contrasting figures that the trumpeter blends together in his music. The rhythm section seems to play in a time that trails the horns in “It’s Just a Toy.” Alessi’s warm tone sounds a little tart on the otherwise gentle ballad “Brown Hat.” “Old Beady Eyes” has a tricky rhythm, as well as counter melodies from Alessi and tenor saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, and the band plays it cool instead of pouncing on a heavy riff and beating it into the ground. In all of these cases, the seemingly opposing elements fit together successfully.

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