Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Mike Melillo & Ares Tavolazzi: Almost Blue: Chet Lives

147

Mike Melillo & Ares Tavolazzi: Almost Blue: Chet Lives

By

Sign in to view read count
Mike Melillo & Ares Tavolazzi: Almost Blue: Chet Lives
On Almost Blue: Chet Lives, pianist Mike Melillo and bassist Ares Tavolazzi perform a series of duets consisting of standards and one Melillo penned composition in tribute to his former employer, trumpeter Chet Baker. Simply put, the duo capture the essence of Baker’s sensitive lines, acute utilization of “space” via fluid yet at times sparse phrasing and despite Baker’s predominately downtrodden past, the trumpeter was a notorious romantic often expressed through his hip yet sensuous vocalise. Here, Melillio and Tavolazzi are up for the occasion as they summon the spirit of the late trumpeter while acquiring his sense of boyish fervor and subtle eloquence.

On “You’re My Thrill”, Melillo exhibits sleek, refined elegance while pursuing passionate lines that invoke thoughts of Baker’s imperturbable persona and warm phrasing as the duo proliferate the trumpeter’s West Coast cool mystique. Tavolazzi establishes the theme and sets the pulse during his bass intro to “But Not For Me” as he often reformulates the melody line while performing an extended solo. Here, the twosome alternate solo chores within the framework of a lively swing motif as Melillo displays a penchant for swift thematic development via deft yet intricate chord voicings along with Bill Evans – style, harmonic interludes. “The Booze In 12 Bars” features Melillo’s graceful swing sensibilities while integrating Bop-ish right hand leads throughout a colorful and quite cheerful groove. The composition titled, “Almost Blue” commences with serene and atmospheric vocalizing from guest artist Tiziana Ghiglioni followed by Melillo’s sophisticated utilization of dynamics on this pretty and quite sentimental ballad.

Melillo and Tavolazzi pay heartfelt homage to Chet Baker on Almost Blue: Chet Lives. No heady or bold statements to be found here as Melillo and Tavolazzi capture the essence and spirit of the late trumpeter in tender and somewhat concentrated fashion.

Personnel

Mike Melillo: piano; Ares Tavolazzi: bass.

Album information

Title: Almost Blue: Chet Lives | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Philology Jazz Records

Comments


For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Tags

More

Skyllumina
Ruth Goller
Wonderful!
Mike LeDonne
Heart Mind and Soul
Randy Bernsen
Tidal Currents: East Meets West
Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.