After graduation in French Switzerland Alex made valuable experiences with musicians of his neighbourhood as well as with the musicians of the Hazy Osterwald Sextet during winter vacations in Arosa. At the Zürich Amateur Jazz Festival he was distiguished for the first time as percussionist. He was drummer of the trio with Elsie Bianchi-Brunner which was one of the regular groups performing at the legendary Cafe Atlantis in Basel.
Elsie Bianchi Trio with Elsie Bianchi, Siro Brunner, Alex Bally.
In Zürich he was a regular drummer of the legendary jazz club Africana besides visiting courses at the local conservatory. At the Africana he played with many important musicians like: Remo Rau, Renato Anselmi, Bruno Spoerri, Barney Wilen, Dollar Brand (Abdullah Ibrahim), Joe Turner, Jampion Jack Dupre, Mario Schneeberger, Hans Kennel, Rene Zedi, Peter Candiotto, Franco Ambrosetti, Pepe Lienhard, Kurt Weil, etc... (picture, l to r: Bruno Spörri, Alex Bally, Hans Kennel, Rolf Cismeck, Remo Rau)
His first important appearance took place at the first Jazz festival in Lugano. At times under the patronage of Flavio Ambrosetti, Georg Gruntz and Daniel Humair. At the festival he appeared with the Remo Rau-Bruno Spoerri Quintet. Foreign appearances followed in Paris Jazzclub Le Chat Qui Peche with Fredy Meier, Hans Kennel, Nicklaus Bertschinger, Jean Claude Petie, Alby Culaz and Henri Texier. In the conection he remained in Paris and became the hause drummer at the Chat Qui Peche for four years. In this period he played with many important musicians, such as: Chet Baker, Woody Shaw, Donald Bird, Herbie Hancock, Nathan Davis, Eric Dolphy, etc...
Sommer 1965 Jambore jazzcava Barcelona presented its nightly jazzshow, featuring alto saxophonist Pony Poindexter, tenorist Booker Erwin, the two pianists Tete Montoliu and Paul Grassel, Hammond organist Lou Bennet with gitarist Rene Thomas, bassist Eric Peter and two drummers Alex Bally and Billy Brooks
Lou Bennet, Rene Thomas, Billy Brooks
Booker Ervin Quartett: Alex Bally Eric Peter Paul Grassel
On the recommendation of his two friends and colleagues Kenny Clarke and Arthur Taylor he optained a scholarship by the Hall of Fame foundation to attend the sommer course at Berkley College of Music in Boston Mass. There he studied drums with Allen Dawson and attended lectures by Quincy Jones. He was a drummer with the Herb Pomeroy big band and appeared with the trio of pianist Masahino Sato on Boston Educational TV. With the ensemble of bassist Tony Texera he played at the ballot of the U.S. senator Edward Humphery for presidency. He also was the drummer with Singer Chris Conners participating at the Jazz Festival in Toronto.
Final bar:Kenny Klarke and Arthur Taylor
Subsequently he was pulled towards the big apple. In NYC he was a session drummer with Booker Erwin and played in the Quartet of Roland Hanna and Eddie Daniels at parties in Long Island, weddings and Bar-Mitzwahs.
Booker Ervin Eddie Daniels Alex Bally
There were not many white folks playing at the Half Note in those times!
Back in Switzerland he joined the etitorial staff of the SRG directed by Willy Bischof who also is a gifted pianist. He played the drums in his quartet "Tetragon" (see picture photo gallery). He was the drummer with the "Jazz Live Trio" of Radio Zürich. The trio was specialized in featuring prominent jazz solists invited by the radio station. The numerous concerts were recorded live in the radio studio or abroad with an audience and presented by Heinz Wehrli. (picture: Jazz Live Trio with Dave Pike, Klaus König, Isla Eckinger, Alex Bally)
By that time the Cafe Africana shut down which was a big loss for Zurich modernists. A new place was therefore badly needed. In the center of the town on top of the restaurant Hinteren Sternen "Modern Jazz Zürich" was born. In a friendly atmosphere weekly concerts were held again. (picture: Board of the management, l to r: Marco Sigrist, his wife Anette, Remo Rau, Alex Bally)
Munic Jazzcommunity, from l to r: Larry Porter, Frank St. Peter, Dave King, Alex Bally, Thomas van der Geld
Eulenspiegel; Popular rock group from Stuttgart
Jazzcrew Stuttgart, from l to r: Jan Jankeje, Alex Bally, Bernd Konrad, Fritz Rapold, Ralph Hübner, Paul Schwarz and Herbert Joos in front
Hans Koller's Free Sound Band, from l to r: Albert Meier, Hans Koller, Adelhard Reudinger, Alex Bally
Freejazz experience at the Eierschale Berlin with Irene Schweizer, Buschi Niebergal and Alex with his Berimbau
One day he got a call from Fredy Studer who asked him to work for Paiste Cymbals. He thought that after gigin' round' europe for six years in a row it might just be the right time for a change and he somehow was happy to return to Switzend. Together with Fredy he directed the Paiste Drummer-Service for a year. (picture: featured paiste drummers)
Alex and Fredy on the Paiste Taschmusch Turbo Diesel Tractor
Marcel Bernasconi, director of the Lucerne Jazz School wanted him for drum instructer. Besides teaching drums and leading workshops for many years he freelanced and founded "Swiss Jazzcommunity" with Hans Kennel, Paul Haag, Heiner Althaus, Armin Keil and Walter Schmocker. The band was instantly successful and was invited as best Swiss Jazz band to the Montreux Jazz festival.
The need to live close to the family made him move to the Italian part of Switzerland. 1984 his daughter Jessica was born. Various new projects came up and subsequently he's activities were orientated towards the Italien music scene. The program with the Milano Jazzcommunity had to be reorganized and the band was newly formed with Italian musicians from the new working field in Milan. (picture: MJC- Quintet, from l to r: Mauro Parodi, Mario Rusca, Riccardo Fioravanti, Gabriele Comeglio, Alex Bally.
Since 1993 the Milan Jazzcommunity is working sporadically as a concert band featuring international jazz solists on tour.
MJC-rehearsals with Slide Hampton,from l to r: Gabriele Comeglio Emilio Soana Slide Hampton
MJC in concert, from l.to r: Mario Rusca Gabriele Comeglio Iwan Lombardi Emilio Soana Alex Bally
MJC-Concert Band recording session at Highland Studios Milan with original compositions by Alex Bally with the co-operation of the Jazz Class Orchestra arranged and directed by Gabriele Comeglio