Quiver finds trumpeter Ralph Alessi and his quartet in a lyrical, reflective mood. Alessi describes the atmosphere in the recording studio as "pensive," a quality that imbues this music. The group includes most of the players from Alessi's acclaimed ECM leader debut Baida (2013). Drew Gress (double-bass) and Nasheet Waits (drums) return, with Gary Versace taking the piano chair in place of Jason Moran.
While pianist Luis Perdomo has earned plenty of praise for his work in Latin jazz settings with different artists such as percussionist Ray Barretto and saxophonist Miguel Zenon, classifying him as a "Latin jazz pianist" would be a mistake. Perdomo may earn his daily bread playing piano with many Latin luminaries and legends-to-be, but his work with saxophonist Ravi Coltrane and his own albums place him at the vanguard of modern jazz, in all of its expansive and inclusive glory. Universal Mind is the Venezuelan-born pianist's fourth release as a leader, but it marks the debut of this compelling trio. Bassist Drew Gress and Perdomo built a chemistry and musical bond through their shared experiences in Coltrane's outfit, but the real story here is the connection between Perdomo and drummer Jack DeJohnette. The two push, prod and propel one another to great heights, while creating music that's thought-provoking, powerful, and unique.
He may be best known as a sideman of rare stylistic flexibility, but with The Irrational Numbers Gress continues to prove his worth as a composer and bandleader of increasing significance.
Emery executes razor sharp single note lines and sweeping chord progressions during “La Scala,” while also counterbalancing Lovano with emphatically placed accents on their duet encounter titled “The Next Level.” Throughout this affair, bassist Drew Gress serves as the traffic director, while Ms. Silvano picks up the flute on the Caribbean tinged closer, “Hannah’s Song.” The musicians bring a mélange of experience to the table as they elicit notions of wide open terrain or expansive horizons, while touching upon the preternatural minutiae of the Fourth Dimension. Recommended.