Ralph Alessi & This Against That

Ralph Alessi & This Against That is a group that organically tows the line between jazz, pop and contemporary classical music. The band has toured Europe and the United States since 2004 playing venues such as The Earshot Festival in Seattle, RedCat Theatre in Los Angeles, Bimhuis in Amsterdam and The New Morning in Paris. Recently they released their 3rd album, Imaginary Friends on ECM.

Ralph Alessi (trumpet, composer), Andy Milne (piano),
Chris Lightcap (bass), Mark Ferber (drums)

Trumpeter/Composer Ralph Alessi was born in San Francisco, CA, the son of classical trumpeter Joe Alessi and opera singer Maria Leone. After taking degrees in jazz trumpet and bass—he studied under the legendary Charlie Haden at CalArts—he lit out for New York, where he swiftly became a ubiquitous presence on the downtown scene. He's been a frequent collaborator with such notable musicians as Steve Coleman, Jason Moran, Don Byron, Ravi Coltrane, Fred Hersch, Uri Caine, and Marc Copland. Alessi has recorded nine albums of original compositions which draw on everything from post-bop to neo-classical music. He currently records for the ECM record label including his 2018 release Imaginary Friends.. As an educator, he has taught at the Eastman School of Music, NYU and the University of Nevada-Reno. He is also the founder/director of the School for Improvisational Music, a visiting professor at the Accademia Nazionale del Jazz in Siena, Italy, and recently joined the faculty at the Hochschule der Künste Bern in Switzerland.

A fearless, versatile explorer, pianist/composer Andy Milne has been a distinct and respected voice at the heart of New York’s creative jazz scene for over 20 years. He has recorded and toured throughout the world with Ravi Coltrane, Ralph Alessi, Carlos Ward and Carla Cook, and has collaborated with a range of artists including Andrew Cyrille, Sekou Sundiata, Avery Brooks, Bruce Cockburn, Fred Hersch, Ben Monder, Dianne Reeves, Jen Shyu, Tyshawn Sorey and Jamie Baum. A former student of Oscar Peterson, Milne was at the center of the M-BASE Collective as a core member of saxophonist Steve Coleman’s bands, as well as performing with Cassandra Wilson and Greg Osby. Milne composed and produced the scores for seven documentary films by acclaimed director William Shatner and has released nine recordings as a leader or co-leader.

Chris Lightcap is an accomplished bassist and composer with a wide-ranging performing and recording career. He has worked with Marc Ribot, Regina Carter, Craig Taborn, Glen Hansard, Mark Turner, John Medeski, Jason Moran, The Kronos Quartet, Tomasz Stanko, Chris Potter, Paul Motian, John Scofield, Dave Liebman, Paquito D’Rivera, Anthony Braxton, Joe Morris, Sheila Jordan, James Carter, Butch Morris, Ben Monder, Mary Halvorson, and many other artists. His playing is featured on over 90 albums and as a bandleader/composer, he has produced six critically acclaimed albums of original music.

Drummer Mark Ferber can be heard on over 100 recordings. Ongoing projects include the Gary Peacock Trio, Ralph Alessi’s ‘This Against That’, the John O’Gallagher trio, the Brad Shepik Organ Trio, and his twin brother, Alan Ferber’s big band and nonet. Past work includes tours and recordings with Lee Konitz, Jonathan Kreisberg, Jack Wilkins, Don Byron, Fred Hersch, Tony Malaby, Mark Helias, and Billy Childs, among others. Mark has taught extensively in the United States and Europe. He was a faculty member for the California Institute of the Arts, the Tavira Jazz Workshop in Portugal, and the School of Improvisational Music (SIM), and is currently teaching privately out of the City College of New York. He was born and raised in Moraga, CA and received a degree in Biogeography from UCLA. Mark is an endorsing artist for Istanbul Cymbals. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Alessi is an individualist, with a style and sound all his own” Downbeat Magazine

“Alessi’s stock-in-trade when he plays is to make the angularities and asymmetries of complex tunes sound natural, to assert their logic, to lead. There is always the sense of a direction of travel. His trumpet sound is full, focused and a constant pleasure to hear.” London Jazz

“Imaginary Friends is one of the most savory records of the year” New York City Jazz Record

"Alessi's tone conveys a rounded luminescence, like the moon in full phase..." NY Times

"Alessi has "drop-dead trumpet chops and his music is as clean and airy and sophisticated and disciplined as post-modern progressive jazz gets...." Jazz Times

“Imaginary Friends is Alessi’s best album yet for ECM” The Guardian


Wed, Jun 28 - 7:30 PM
Christ Church - Global Jazz Now
$30/door or Club Pass

Wed, Jun 28 - 9:30 PM
Christ Church - Global Jazz Now
$30/door or Club Pass

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