Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio, A straight ahead groove with a subtle Latin twist! Righteous stuff!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
It will hit you right between the ears, there is an unmistakable Sonny Rollins influence to the artistry of Melissa Aldana. This is not a riff on the legend, this is the next generation taking the zen like approach of textured phrasing that has been the Rollins lyrical calling card and simply putting a fresh spin on the effort. The self titled release is not due to street till June 14th but this is a release you should calendar / pre-order. A rare collective ensemble that includes the lyrical in the pocket finesse of Cuban born drummer Francisco Mela and the swing sensation and polyrhythmic dynamo Chilean Pablo Menares.
Aldana is quickly making a name for herself with a warm tone, subtle phrasing and the ability to infuse a new sound and thoughtful approach to the more traditional jazz world where business as usual has taken predictable to another level. Only two covers with neither having been beaten to death, "You're My Everything" and the Thelonious Monk classic "Ask Me Now" are included. The opener "M&M" is a groove you can use with a soulful walking bass line from Menares and Mela taking "in the pocket" to a new level. Aldana's tone is fierce yet with a swing that some contemporaries twenty years her senior are still searching for. The odd metered deconstructed vibe of "Tirapie'" is an ambient yet subtle Latin exploratory where the chemistry of this ensemble rules the day. The punctuated percussive pop of "Peace, Love & Music" is the perfect set up for a free range excursion into shifting meter and dynamic fury.
Debut releases are normally the polite courtesy of handing someone a business card. Melissa Aldans & Crash Trio move past the predictable half dozen or so covers and chart their own lyrical course down that harmonic road less traveled. Concord has found a true melodic diamond in the rough. Melissa Aldana is an artist whose musical stock is an arrow pointing straight up!
Tracks: M&M; Turning; You're My Everything; Bring Him Home; Tirapie; Peace, Love & Music; Perdon; New Points; Dear Joe; Ask Me Now.