Trumpeter/composer Ralph Alessi has steadfastly built a reputation for pursuing the road less traveled. And while the artist institutes lyrically rich themes into his vast palate, he often pursues dense frameworks to coincide with his forward thinking approach to compositional form. Here, Alessi teams with drummer/trumpeter Shane Endsley and special guest, trombonist Tim Albright for a set consisting of intricately devised works, bursting with energy.
Endsley compensates for the lack of a bassist, via his resonating bass drum and tom-tom sounds, as Alessi generally revitalizes a central theme into various shapes and colors. The artists explore various rhythmic structures amid strong doses of call and response mechanisms, as they also implement a loosely based shuffle groove on Monk’s "Bye Ya." On the piece titled "Soy Ink," Albright and Alessi render perky unison choruses, in concert with Albright’s pulsating polyrhythms and crashing cymbals. Hence, the musicians produce a remarkable amount of contrasting tonalities. Either way, Alessi continues to emerge as a risk-taking stylist.