Mike Melito | The Next Step

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Jazz: Bebop Jazz: Hard Bop Moods: Instrumental
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The Next Step

by Mike Melito

Swingin Hard Bop Quintet in the style of Blue Note 50's Hard Bop.
Genre: Jazz: Bebop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Next Step
6:32 album only
2. Don't Blame Me
5:09 album only
3. Bella Carolina
7:18 album only
4. I Want More
5:52 album only
5. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
7:33 album only
6. I Wish I Knew
7:14 album only
7. You Don't Know What Love Is
7:31 album only
8. Blues For Red And Brown
4:18 album only


Album Notes
Jazz drummer Mike Melito has been a mainstay on the upstate NY jazz scene for over 20 years. Appearing on many CDs as a sideman, this is his third CD as a leader and like his previous two CDs, has received much critical acclaim. All About Jazz writer David Orthmann says of Melito “ He’s a master of dynamics and shadings, he plays as if being felt is as important as being heard.” Orthmann also states “He’s an increasing rare trapster.” Melito has worked with some of the finest jazz musicians in the world. He’s worked with such names as James Moody, Barry Harris, JR Monterose, Joe Romano, Gene Bertoncini, Chris Potter, Eric Alexander, Steve Turre, Fred Wesley, and many others.
The Next Step features three New York city jazz veterans. Grant Stewart on tenor saxophone, whose robust tenor has been heard with the likes of Jimmy Cobb, Al Grey, Larry Goldings, Peter Bernstein, and Ryan Kisor. Joe Magnarelli on trumpet, who has been featured with Ray Barreto, Harry Connick Jr., and Louis Hayes. Bassist Neal Miner playing credits include Dina DeRose, Jane Monheit, Lewis Nash, and Larry Goldings. Rounding out the band is fellow upstate New York pianist Dino Losito. Who has played and recorded with Harry Allen, Houston Person, Mickey Roker, and Joe Romano.
Dave Miele of Jazz Improv Magazine writes “The Next Step is definitely a release for lovers of hardpop. You’ll find an excellent contemporary drummer with clearly defined roots that in no way prevent him from attaining an individual sound on the instrument



to write a review

John Gilbert

Bebop at its best
This is a prime example of BeBop at it's best. There is fine unison work between the horns, and good tunes from which to extrapolate . Dino Losito at the piano is an exciting young pianist whose solos are inventive and most importantly have a message, not just mindless notes. Mike Melito on the drums does not 'step on' the soloists and and his embellishments fit the tune and add to the solos by his discretionary playing. Steady as a rock is Neal Miner, his presence is the heart beat of this ensemble.

"I Want More" is a fast paced bop number featuring a driving sax soliloquy by Stewart and an equally intense effort by horn mate Magnarelli. Dino Losito lends his magic to the mix with his patented swinging style.

" Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" opens with sultry trumpet tones emanating from Magnarelli, who lays it on the line and comes out unscathed with a super effort. Grant Stewart is at his best on this piece, There is not a hint of Bean or the Hawk in the texture of his sound (as mentioned in the liner notes) both his sound and ideation are as hip as it gets. This tune is performed at a slow tempo yet it moves soulfully and is very kind to the aural senses. I really liked this track.

A nice arrangement of "I Wish I Knew" finds Magnarelli bopping along joyfully followed by Losito's astounding solo filled with dexterity, brilliant changes and his comping clearly inspires the horns in their solos. Nice four bar exchanges add the finishing touches.

"You Don't Know What Love Is" Done up tempo, this tunes moves along at race horse tempo. Stewart again rips his time at bat spreading his message on dead red all the way, great solo....Magnarelli follows suit with an equally energetic outing. Here comes Losito jumping on this song like a hobo on a ham sandwich, he gets it all and then some, it gets no better than this.

"Blues For Red And Brown" pure bop from the top is the name of the game in Neal Miner's composition. The tenor and trumpet open with some solid unison playing. Losito weaves a tapestry of swing briefly but effectively.

This is an album that emphatically demonstrates that professionalism and talent hold sway over the frivolous nonsense heard these days in 'free jazz'...Hey, this is the idiom that will free your ears from all clutter and fuss of con-fusion and music of that sort. This is the real deal

Personnel: Mike Melito (drums), Dino Losito (piano), Grant Stewart (sax), Joe Magnarelli (trumpet), Neal Miner (bass)

Tracks: The Next Step, Don't Blame Me, Bella Carolina, I Want More, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, I Wish I Knew, You Don't Know What Love Is, Blues For Red And Brown.