438

Francisco Mela: Cirio

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
Francisco Mela: Cirio Cirio is evidence that Francisco Mela marches and plays to the beat of a different drummer. Combining artistic influences of his Cuban upbringing with modern jazz, the youthful Boston based drummer/composer has studied at Berkley, toured with pianist Kenny Barron and performed with saxophonist Jane Bunnett's Grammy nominated "Spirits of Havana Band."



Yet it's his voice that pierces this live recording at New York's Blue Note as he is joined by seminal rising stars Lionel Loueke, Mark Turner, Larry Grenadier and Jason Moran; one that was first witnessed on his auspicious debut, Melao (Ayva Musica, 2006).

Using percussion-like rhythms that are beyond standard traps, Mela blends multi-directional tempos with power and finesse. His leadership neither overshadows nor is overshadowed by his peers, in particular Moran, who acquiesces his usual pyrotechnics, allowing the others to shine on the opening track "Tierra And Fuego," denoted by Mela's driven timing and Loueke's electronically processed guitar.



The trio setting in "Channel 2" is where things get interesting—a freeform piece marked by Grenadier's pulsating bass, brilliant methodical free soloing by Turner and Mela's effervescent playing. Next is the title song, dedicated to Mela's father, Cirio. An audible portrait that is introspective, progressive and magnetic; also personalized on the recording's cover art, which Mela painted when he was a pre-teen.



Within the well rounded set, "Maria" shows a softer side of Mela's writing/performing and highlights Moran's distinct piano chops. Mela's alluring Cuban vocals on Silvio Rodriguez's "Pequena Serenata de Urna" and Loueke's popular "Benes," (also known as "Benny's Tune" on various recordings) enhances the recording.



Cirio honors Mela's father, who died shortly after the project began, and celebrates his firstborn child in the affecting "Urick Mela." From the opening track to the closing force of "Afro Son," it is captivating, atmospheric and spirited.


Track Listing: Tierra And Fuego; Channel 2; Cirio; Maria; Pequena Serenata de Urna; Benes; Urick Mela; Afro Son.

Personnel: Francisco Mela: drums, vocals; Jason Moran: piano; Lionel Loueke: guitar; Larry Grenadier: bass; Mark Turner: tenor saxophone.

Title: Cirio | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Half Note Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Towards Language CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read The Romeo and Juliet Project CD/LP/Track Review The Romeo and Juliet Project
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Crystal Machine CD/LP/Track Review Crystal Machine
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "Fun with Notes" CD/LP/Track Review Fun with Notes
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 10, 2017
Read "2468 West Grand Boulevard" CD/LP/Track Review 2468 West Grand Boulevard
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: December 27, 2016
Read "A Multitude of Angels" CD/LP/Track Review A Multitude of Angels
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 30, 2016
Read "Z Octet" CD/LP/Track Review Z Octet
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 19, 2016
Read "Purple Patio" CD/LP/Track Review Purple Patio
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 27, 2016
Read "The Journey" CD/LP/Track Review The Journey
by James Nadal
Published: January 5, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.