Alt Tal is a passionate and hard-hitting
Jazz Trio in the San Francisco Bay Area

Who play live twice a month at Oakland's nouveau-venerable Cafe Van Kleef.

Find out why Alt Tal's CD

Open the Gates!
is gaining critical acclaim.


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Nicholas Sheffo
Fulvue Drive-in
15 April 2009

An outright jazz album with great playing, tricky time signatures and no pretense to anything.

The trio of David Alt, Kenny Annis and Andrew Ryan really deliver an intense 11-track work here that features all new material and it is one of the best new Jazz albums we have heard in a while.

The PCM 16/44.1 2.0 Stereo is...sonically able, with clarity, articulation and consistency. It has very little compression.

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LMNOP Magazine
May 2009

Offbeat modern jazz from the acoustic jazz trio consisting of David Alt, Kenny Annis, and Andrew Ryan. While all three are serious musicians (each actually studied and/or majored in music), the tracks on Open the Gates! don't have that stuffy, pretentious sound that can sometimes be associated with serious musicians.

Rather and instead, the tracks on this album come across sounding spontaneous and totally inspired.

Of course, with modern jazz most folks either love it or hate it. We tend to be fence sitters...unless we get the impression that the people are making music for the right reasons. In such particular cases, we can get a major jolt out of this genre.

Gates! does what it is intended to do...entertain while allowing the players to inject their music with their own ideas and personalities. The playing is fluid and unpredictable...and the sound quality is impeccable. Eleven tracks here including "Mossad," "News From Milan," "Catch Me," and "Elaine." Rather neat sounding stuff...

Rating: 5 (Excellent)

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Dave C
WRUV FM, Burlington, VT
15 April 2009

This piano-less trio featuring 11 original compositions that range from blues to more free and unpredictable cuts show influences ranging from Eric Dolphy to Steve Lacy.

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Midwest Record
Volume 32/Number 160
Lake Zurich, IL
9 April 2009

Sax led jazzbo rockers explore their downtown skronk side on this acoustic set that lets them play head music, the kind that used to power the all night show on college radio in the 70s.

It's not noize and it's not mainstream.

It's jazz for those that like to think as they listen.

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The Borderland
United Kingdom
May 2009

On listening to this album I was repeatedly reminded of Jimi Hendrix and his trio.

Open the Gates contains eleven tracks, most of them with tight rhythmic foundations and the sax floating stratospherically high above.


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Alt Tal's Open The Gates! is the sound of a fierce jazz trio who are in control of their sonic destiny.

These guys play a mixture of bebop, funk, soul, and whatever complex jazz terms you may have that describes the fluidity of imagination that happened between the 1950's and 1970's. They flow from styles to eras without a problem, smoothly as if everyone else has been doing this normally, but it's not abstract or out of the ordinary despite my description of it.

Alt's solos tell the story, each described in lyrical form in the booklet even though none of the songs feature any singing, so you hear songs of closure (Mark Time), political struggle (Mossad), making tea (Jasmine), along with lovers and friends that have come and gone.

Within that you hear some incredible playing, and the rhythm section of Annis and Ryan will definitely make you look out for these two either as individuals or as a duo, because I could hear them backing a lot of musicians up, or perhaps they become the leaders of other more perfect unions.

The musicianship is very elaborate, as they play direct and to the point, occasionally drifting into a bit of freedom before falling back into the theme of the song, and I could easily see then moving crowds into a frenzy with their playing.

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Scott Yanow
LA Jazz Scene
March 2009

Open The Gates! features 11 of Alt's originals which range from blues to freer material.

David Alt's playing sometimes recalls that of Steve Lacy and (tone wise on alto) Anthony Braxton but his ideas are fresh and unpredictable. His thoughtful improvisations are consistently relaxed, even in the more heated sections, and have their own logic. To an extent he has created his own musical vocabulary.

The music is well played, colorful, and well worth exploring.

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Rotcod Zzaj
Improvijazzation Nation
April 2009

Here's a refreshing sound... basic sax, bass & drum trio that flawlessly improvises 11 all-original Alt compositions in a solid modern jazz performance that will put you in moods both introspective & joyful.

The jumping piece The Nymph is most representative of the playful spirit the title would make you think of... it's track 4, l'Amoureuse de Mon Père, that will take you over the top, perhaps even jumping beyond resolute toe-tappin' to jumping up and dancing a bit... my favorite on the CD, to be sure. On "Amoureuse", the drums seem to propel it, & the bass provides superb counterpoint... David's sax paints a bubbly stream that will make you think of your father, no doubt. If you're favoring the reflective side at the current moment, be sure to check out "Force Of Nature", the tune I thought was the most mellow on the entire album.

The overall impression I had was that this approaches improvised jazz with a decidedly "eastern" flavor, more studied and controlled than other reedists I've listened to who are doing it "from the hip", so to speak.

All in all, very impressive & full of vigor... I rate this one as HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for jazz listeners who want to experience an album with many facets–excellent sound quality, high talent and sonic vistas you haven't heard before!

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Sarah Huenecke
KQAL Winona Minnesota
27 March 2009

This upbeat acoustic jazz trio encompasses engaging improvisations that will draw numerous audiences.

This CD is also capable of opening the gates into the world of jazz for younger generations with the use of an admirable modern jazz approach.

This is a band to be recognized.

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The Wilson and Alroy Record Report
April 2009

A trio led by saxophonist David Alt (who wrote all the tunes) with Kenny Annis (bass) and Andrew Ryan (drums).

They range from the walking bass bop of "Elaine" to the Five Elements-sounding "Mossad," and the band brings the same vibrancy to every style, often giving the impression that more than three instruments are playing ("Jasmine").

I know I've said this before, but I'll say it again: it's easy to attempt Kind Of Blue-style open landscapes but tough to pull it off, and at times these guys rise to that level (the languid, vaguely Middle Eastern "Seven O'Clock Tune").

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Susie Kopecky
The Celebrity Cafe
14 April 2009

Would make a pleasant addition to any jazz enthusiast's collection.