Ralph Alessi and his Imaginary Friends
Ralph Alessi's Imaginary Friends is in Hi-Res 24-Bit on Qobuz!
Ralph Alessi’s ‘imaginary friends’ are very much real. They’re called Ravi Coltrane, Andy Milne, Drew Gress and Mark Ferber. And the world that they create together is drenched with pastel shades. The musical colours that this quintet paints on Imaginary Friends blend into each other perfectly, spreading out over the huge melodic canvas. On closer inspection, the details of these nine pieces are dense and complex, yet Ralph Alessi makes the whole thing ever so fluid...
Upon joining the ECM label, the New York-based Californian asserted himself as a brilliant group leader with the album Baida in 2013 followed by Quiver three years later. Influenced by (but never imitating) the inescapable artists Miles Davis and Kenny Wheeler, Alessi has always unfurled elegant phrases that are as lyrical as they are refined. Manfred Eicher, who produced this record, ensures that the group allows for space. Alessi sounds much more mature here and his complicity with Ravi Coltrane is the cherry on top.
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