Francisco Mela - Fe

Leo Genovese: piano; Gerald Cannon: bass; Francisco Mela: drums. Guest - John Scofield: guitar.


Francisco Mela, an invigorating Cuban-born drummer, percussionist, and composer, releases a powerful new album entitled Fe (faith), which works as a tribute to his late parents and a way of gratefulness toward the masters who believed in his capacities. He recorded it with his Crash Trio, which includes the Argentine pianist Leo Genovese and the American bassist Gerald Cannon. The master guitarist John Scofield appears on two tracks as a very special guest.

Ancestros”, a breathtaking tune initiated in rubato and delivered at a complex tempo, makes us alert and features the inventively dazzling touches of Genovese, deeply immersed in the robust web created by the elastic rhythm section that paddles toward a grandiose finale. Here, one can have a glimpse of Chick Corea’s initial phase.
Mr. Alden” is a frolicking and unstoppable swinging piece that shows how Genovese can sound dashingly percussive, resorting to the use of several octaves to punch us in the face. The gentle beginning of “Don McCoy”, a richly textured tune that salutes McCoy Tyner, interrupts this animation. It precedes the title track, which marks the first intervention of Mr. Scofield, whose jubilant tones and vibes change the mood presented until then. The guitarist returns, later on, to unchain another sizzling improvisation in “Just Now”, a bop-influenced exercise that also features brilliant musical expressions by Genovese and Cannon.

Romeo and Juliette” is a ballad that conveys the same dramatic sentiment as the Shakespeare’s novel characters that served it as inspiration.
Mela’s songcraft can be appreciated in the flowing “Reflections” is peppered by the percussive abilities of the bandleader, while “Lovano’s Mood” honors the legendary saxophonist Joe Lovano with resoluteness.  
Stepping on avant-garde territory, “Curcuros” brings Mela’s restless drumming below a repetitive piano idea. The climactic tones are increased when Cannon starts to bow his upright bass. The album comes to a conclusion with “Open Dance”, a thriving piece adorned with Brubeck-ish melodies and bouncing improvisations.

Each track warrants its place on this edgy album, arising different emotions in accordance with the mood embraced. High quality is assured, and Mela’s faith is also our faith that he can be definitely validated as one of the most valuable drummers of the contemporary jazz.

          Grade  A

          Grade A

Favorite Tracks:
01 – Ancestros ► 07 – Curcuros ► 09 – Just Now