When the word predictable" shows up in music reviews, it's often wrongly viewed as the kiss of death. Somewhere along the way, defying expectations" or charting new territory" have become the quickest way to gain recognition, but the tried-and-true shouldn't be sold short. On The Right Time, veteran drummer Mike Melito and his band deliver a mixture of new numbers, rarely heard tunes and classic jazz gems, and, though many of them basically rely on a fairly predictable head-solos-head format or a slight variant, that's not a bad thing. Melito and company proudly carry the bop and ...read more
The last time I reviewed something from gifted drummer Mike Melito was in 2007, when he co-released All Through the Night (Indies Records), with guitarist Bob Sneider and bassist Phil Flanigan. Aside from the high quality of the music these guys are making up in Rochester, New York, what impressed me the most was the audible and contagious fun that the band was having. A great ride," I said.Well, he's done it again, since the same things can be said about In the Tradition, one of the best CDs to hit my mailbox all year. The music is ...read more
If this disc is any indication of the caliber of jazz musicians in the Rochester, New York area, then it would seem that the music is in good hands around said environs. So the story goes, guitarist Bob Sneider has played an integral part in leading the nightly jam sessions that occur during the duration of each year's Rochester International Jazz Festival, and this studio date is somewhat of a homage to those sets. No stranger to the jazz scene there, Sneider's experience boasts of time spent with Chuck Mangione and a role as educator at the Eastman School of ...read more
No one will be able to sleep all through this night, a collection of bright, swinging performances from this gifted Rochester trio, whose long and happy association is evident in their relaxed, empathic interplay. Here, guitarist Bob Sneider, bassist Phil Flanigan and drummer Mike Melito are joined by a stellar guest roster, creating a pleasing balance between the five trio and six quartet tracks. It's a solid and spirited session that includes some lesser-known tunes by Jackie McLean and Billy Higgins as well as a buffet of old favorites, all beautifully rendered.
Aside from its consistently high level ...read more
The Next Step is the third recording session led by Mike Melito, a Rochester, New York-based drummer who often draws on talent from the New York City jazz scene. To his credit, Melito doesn't hire players like trumpeter Joe Magnarelli, tenor saxophonist Grant Stewart, and bassist Neal Miner for the credibility their names bring to his projects. Rather, along with a fellow New York State mainstay, pianist Dino Losito, Melito finds exactly the right voices for his scheme: making affably swinging small group jazz rooted in the bop and hard bop traditions.
Though the record has its share of exhilarating ...read more
Drummer and bandleader Mike Melito makes it clear in his liner notes that the music on this album is dedicated to the spirit of Blue Note Records during the 1950s. And he succeeds admirably. For his third album, Melito has assembled a fine quintet featuring trumpeter Joe Magnarelli and tenor saxophonist Grant Stewart, both of whom have multiple releases on Criss Cross Records, plus pianist Dino Losito and bassist Neal Miner.
In order to substantiate his intentions of providing that authentic '50s Blue Note ambiance, Melito crossreferences the non-original tunes to specific sessions from the era--for example, the ...read more
There's a ton of splendid music coming out of Rochester, New York, probably because the first-rate Eastman School of Music is located there. Although few Noo Yawkers would admit it, The Big Apple doesn't have the state monopoly on stellar jazz, and here's another northern star to prove it. Mike Melito is a strong, straight-ahead drummer who's produced a classy, swinging CD with some of his local colleagues, all with impeccable credentials. It's a melodic session of fresh material, full of head-nodders and finger-poppers. 'Bout Time" opens with the friendly Freddie Hubbard tune, Happy Times," then proceeds to provide more ...read more