214

Francisco Mela: Melao

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Francisco Mela: Melao 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 Ramsay; Sorpresa; Arere; Parasuayo; Galaxy; Chela; Obayoko; Law Years; Parallel World.

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

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Ayva Musica | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "One for Marian" CD/LP/Track Review One for Marian
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: June 14, 2016
Read "Montage" CD/LP/Track Review Montage
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 22, 2016
Read "Beam Me Up" CD/LP/Track Review Beam Me Up
by Dave Wayne
Published: April 21, 2016
Read "Pittsburgh" CD/LP/Track Review Pittsburgh
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 23, 2016
Read "Shirley Horn Live at the 4 Queens" CD/LP/Track Review Shirley Horn Live at the 4 Queens
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 5, 2016
Read "Testimony" CD/LP/Track Review Testimony
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 13, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!