All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

214

Francisco Mela: Melao

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Working with an all-star group of artists in a variety of settings, drummer Francisco Mela drives with the spirit of Cuban fire behind him. Born in Cuba and resident in Boston, the thirty-something percussionist has created a fine keepsake for his first recording as leader. Nine originals and one Ornette Coleman tune feature different guitar and saxophone voices as the drummer propels his rhythm section along a spontaneous path.

Joe Lovano romps joyfully on three of Mela's compositions, demonstrating the versatility that both artists rely on for their continued creative pleasures. With a quartet, they drive "Arere along a straight-ahead path that fosters tradition. Their duo performance on "Parallel World steps aside to look at jazz from a different perspective: the two artists collaborate and converse within a free jazz ambience. Both have plenty to say; they communicate in a language that we can all understand intuitively. With tenor saxophonist George Garzone, plus piano and bass, Mela and Lovano take a look at impressionism through their interpretation of "Galaxy, which colors the universe with a meteor shower of hard bop pellets. Like the forces in deep space, everyone drives with power and consistency.

Garzone is featured on several other selections, where he and Mela mix it up eloquently. The scene changes from hot and heavy to light and dreamy and then back again. Nothing is predictable, and that's a good thing. Mela's program offers plenty to think about, and yet it's still within the bounds of mainstream jazz. Tradition and contemporary features are both served fully.

Anat Cohen and Lionel Loueke lend their support to two selections, helping Mela create some of the program's more lyrical moments. Her silky clarinet and his vibrant guitar give "Chela a lovely texture that comes from timeless sources. Later, in a trio format, Loueke teams with bassist Peter Slavov and Mela for an effusive romp through "Law Years.

With his debut recording as leader, Francisco Mela provides the spontaneity that we need in order to keep jazz's mainstream healthy and accessible.


Track Listing: John Ramsey; Sopresa; Arere; Parasuayo; Galaxy; Chela; Obayoko (Intro); Obayoko; Law Years; Parallel Worlds.

Personnel: Francisco Mela: drums, vocals, percussion; Joe Lovano: tenor saxophone; George Garzone: tenor saxophone; Anat Cohen: tenor saxophone, clarinet; Lionel Loueke: guiktar; Nir Felder: electric guitar & effects; Leo Genovese: piano, Fender Rhodes, keyboard; Peter Slavov: bass.

Title: Melao | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Ayva Musica

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Fe

Fe

Self Produced
2016

buy
Tree Of Life

Tree Of Life

Half Note Records
2011

buy
Cirio

Cirio

Half Note Records
2008

buy
Cirio: Live at the Blue Note

Cirio: Live at the...

Half Note Records
2008

buy
Melao

Melao

Ayva Musica
2006

buy

Related Articles

Read Love + Time + Divination CD/LP/Track Review
Love + Time + Divination
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2018
Read Gleb Kolyadin CD/LP/Track Review
Gleb Kolyadin
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 22, 2018
Read NEVER DIE! by \\livingfossil// CD/LP/Track Review
NEVER DIE! by \\livingfossil//
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: February 22, 2018
Read 25th Anniversary Project CD/LP/Track Review
25th Anniversary Project
by Geannine Reid
Published: February 22, 2018
Read SuperClusters CD/LP/Track Review
SuperClusters
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 21, 2018
Read Your Queen Is A Reptile CD/LP/Track Review
Your Queen Is A Reptile
by Chris May
Published: February 21, 2018
Read "Happy Orchestra: Baba" CD/LP/Track Review Happy Orchestra: Baba
by Paul Rauch
Published: September 14, 2017
Read "Short Notice" CD/LP/Track Review Short Notice
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 30, 2017
Read "Modicana" CD/LP/Track Review Modicana
by John Sharpe
Published: January 30, 2018
Read "Alleviation" CD/LP/Track Review Alleviation
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 18, 2017
Read "Over the Rainbow" CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Straight Forward" CD/LP/Track Review Straight Forward
by Paul Rauch
Published: January 14, 2018