Chris Mello's Global Village quintet reaches halfway around the world on this debut CD to interpret his original compositions affectionately. Traces of flamenco, rhumba, bolero and cha cha cha weave through his smooth jazz performance with a natural feel. The program on this contemporary album carries modern impressions from the jazz community as well as the popular music market.
Mello uses several different guitars to achieve his purpose. Acoustic and electric bass, acoustic and electric guitar, percussion and keyboards color each piece with mellow overtones. This smooth session flows seamlessly without lighting many fires.
Unnoticed Moments drives fast and "Clavecity rocks up-tempo with plenty of high-octane energy. Most of the program, however, moves gently with a focus on fluid melodies. "What You Left Behind, for example, is a lovely ballad, while "Luciana drives gently with a smooth, contemporary texture. Mello's choice of keyboards over piano invites a laid-back feeling that floats the session on its present-day journey across continents.
While The Global Village incorporates Latin folk idioms in its presentation, Mello's emphasis remains tied to smooth jazz. What little fire he's put into his program lies buried deep beneath the slick surface that he bases on melody.
Personnel: Chris Mello: guitar; Otmaro Ruiz: keyboard; Rene Camacho: bass; Aaron Serfaty: drums; Bryan Brock: percussion.