Editors’ Notes Shifting from the quartet focus of 2013's Baida and 2016's Quiver, Brooklyn-based master trumpeter Ralph Alessi devotes his third ECM release to the reconvening of his fine quintet This Against That, heard on such releases as Look and the band’s self-titled 2002 debut. Ravi Coltrane, on tenor saxophone (soprano on the agitated “Melee”), joins Alessi as a forceful solo voice and an inspired partner in executing melodic themes, whether in tight unison or well-wrought harmony and counterpoint. Pianist Andy Milne grasps the abstract harmonic color and often angular rhythm at the heart of Alessi’s compositions, enhancing the beginning of “Oxide” and “Pittance” with subtle prepared-piano textures. Drummer Mark Ferber, who like Milne makes his ECM debut here, is loose and flowing on more spacious pieces such as “Iram Issela” (Alessi’s daughter’s name backwards) and the closing “Good Boy.” But on “Fun Room” and “Improper Authorities,” he’s funkier and more assertive, drawing out similar qualities in top-tier bassist Drew Gress (the sole holdover from Alessi’s quartet).


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