eMusic Review 0
The best contemporary musicians are equally at home negotiating abstruse formal material or improvising over the barest of predetermined structures. Pianist Jason Moran, bassist Drew Gress and drummer Nasheet Waits are roughly the 21st-century equivalent of the supergroups (Herbie Hancock or McCoy Tyner on piano, Richard Davis or Ron Carter playing bass, and Tony Williams, Elvin Jones, or Joe Chambers on drums) that would routinely form the rhythm sections of mid '60s Blue Note Records.
Here they turn up on trumpeter Ralph Alessi's "Cognitive Dissonance," and it's a pleasure to hear the perfect balance they maintain between two disparate aspects of modern jazz. Alessi's work remains listener-friendly, even as it presents challenging material. Alessi has chosen to present 15 miniatures (you'll only have to use 12 downloads to get them all), only one of which runs over five minutes. Perhaps the brevity of the tracks contributes to their overall accessibility, but I think it's more a case of how thoroughly this band can make the music breathe, how organic it becomes in their hands. "Buying Selling," with its skewed second line-ish funk (Alessi sounding like a young Freddie Hubbard) is immediately appealing. Although… read more »