Melton Mustafa Orchestra | Boiling Point

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Jazz: Swing/Big Band Reggae: Calypso Moods: Type: Improvisational
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Boiling Point

by Melton Mustafa Orchestra

Big Band Jazz, original compositions of mixed styles including swing jazz, be-bop, rock ballad, latin jazz, and modal jazz
Genre: Jazz: Swing/Big Band
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Boiling Point (3 in 1Blues)
6:37 $0.99
2. Blind Love Blues
6:18 $0.99
3. Bridging The Gap
7:34 $0.99
4. Some Kind of Blues
7:08 $0.99
5. I Can Sing
4:41 $0.99
6. Easy As It Goes (A Night At El Morocco)
5:54 $0.99
7. Upsy Daisy
4:47 $0.99
8. Let It Be Known
3:45 $0.99
9. Where There's Smoke
5:50 $0.99
10. Swinging My Lady
3:29 $0.99
11. The Gift of Knowledge (El Don Del Conocimiento)
5:19 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Melton Mustafa had long dreamed of having a big band of his own. The Miami-based trumpeter-composer certainly had plenty of big band experience, having played in some of the best, including the big bands of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Woody Herman. During his seven year tenure with the Basie band, Mustafa contributed two original compositions to the legendary orchestra's song book.
After leaving the Basie band in 1992, Mustafa returned home to Miami and began reorganizing the Melton Mustafa Orchestra, which was originally formed in the early 80's. "I didn't think that I was ready to become a band leader," he says, "but once I got started and got the band going, that first gig was all I needed. I can't stop. It's just a thing I have to do."

A powerhouse orchestra in the Basie tradition, rooted in swing and blues, though also featuring bebop, modal and Afro-Cuban flavors, the Melton Mustafa Orchestra began making "noise" on the South Florida jazz scene. The power and majesty of a big band coupled with Mustafa's unique composing style make this big band a stand-out.

Mustafa's wife Zakiyyah manages the band and, since the bands first CD Boiling Point, Melton's eldest son Melton Rahsaan Mustafa has joined the sax section and he is occasionally paired with his younger brother Yamin Mustafa in the trumpet section. Melton's brother Jesse Jones Jr. has been a long time feature in the band with his alto saxophone and mastering scatting style. It's a family affair.

Melton Mustafa was born in Miami on November 23, 1947. His older brother Jesse Jones Jr. played saxophone and Melton hoped to follow in his footsteps, but when he reached junior high there were no saxophones available so Melton was given an E-flat alto horn. He demonstrated his musical ability early and was switched to trumpet the next year. Besides playing in the school band, he joined a five piece combo led by Jesse that played calypso, R&B and even waltzes for tips on the beachside patio of some of the most popular hotels along Miami Beach, as well as at dances and clubs.

"When I first started off, I didn't know very much about jazz, except that I liked it." Mustafa says. His early trumpet heroes were Jonah Jones, Rex Stewart and Al Hirt, because Jesse had their records in his collection. Later influences included Louis Armstrong, Clifford Brown, Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Blue Michell, Lee Morgan, Booker Little and especially Woody Shaw.

While still in high school, Mustafa used his gift of perfect pitch to transcribe arrangements off records, and then he began writing on his own. "I didn't know the theory behind it until later on. I just heard it and wrote it," he explains, It wasn't until I got to Berklee College of Music that the theoretical part of it started making sense to me."

In addition to the one summer at Berklee, Melton studied two years at Mississippi Valley State College and 2 years at Florida A&M University, all on scholarships-graduating from Florida A&M with a BS in music education. Mustafa received his Master of Music Degree in Jazz Performance from the University of Miami in the year 2000.

Most of the trumpeter's early musical experiences came from working in local R&B bands and then later with regional and nationally known R&B artists. Mustafa credits saxophonist Charles "Doc" Austin with introducing him to the Miami jazz scene.

By the mid-eighties, Melton's growing reputation had spread throughout the jazz world and he found himself working with the likes of The Duke Ellington Orchestra (under Mercer Ellington's direction), Bobby Watson, James Williams, John Hicks and Gunther Schuller.

Mustafa has performed with many big names when they come to South Florida, including Nancy Wilson, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and Joe Williams just to name a few. He also has several television performances to his credit. Mustafa has performed at most of the major jazz festivals including the North Sea Festival, the Montreal Jazz Festival and the Montreux Jazz Festival.

But it was the seven years Melton spent with the Count Basie Orchestra, first under Eric Dixon's direction, then under Thad Jones's and finally under Frank Foster's, that gave him the necessary confidence and exposure to lead an orchestra of his own.

Mustafa credits Jones and Foster as his major inspirations. "Thad Jones influenced me so much," says Mustafa, "In the way he walked, the way he talked, the way he handled people, the way he wrote and what he did with his time," of Foster, Mustafa says, "His writing is very aggressive and yet he can write very subtly." The admiration is mutual as Frank Foster said, "Melton Mustafa has a special talent as a soloist and as a big band composer." Other influences on Mustafa's writing include Gerald Wilson, Oliver Nelson, McCoy Tyner, Sammy Nestico, and Duke Ellington. The soulful trumpet style, Mustafa says, comes directly from his brother Jesse Jones Jr. (alto saxophonist).

From recording as a sideman with the Basie Band, Bobby Watson, Jaco Pastorius and Arthur Baron's Afro Blue Band among others, Mustafa has now put together his own powerfully swinging, wonderfully dynamic orchestra. Both of his CD's Boiling Point and St. Louis Blues, on Fantasy Record Label, were critically acclaimed for the original compositions and for the brilliant trumpet solo work thanks to a wonderful friend, great musician , and brilliant producer John Goodwin.

Melton Mustafa is also a gifted music educator and began instructing young people at the African Heritage Cultural Art Center in Miami when he returned from his stint with Basie. In 1996 Melton joined the faculty at Florida Memorial University to head their newly formed Jazz Studies Program, and that music program continues to flourish. Each year since 1996, Florida Memorial University has hosted the Melton Mustafa Jazz Festival/Workshop featuring top international jazz artists'. Mustafa also does jazz workshops at high schools and colleges throughout the country.

While he has often performed with combos including his brother Jesse's, Mustafa is a Big Band Man. Says Mustafa, "I love not only the big-band sounds, but the people's response to all the musicians. It's just a totally different thing as opposed to a small group. It's like night and day as far as the excitement is concerned."

Melton Mustafa is getting ready to go back into the studio and he promises some musical surprises. "This one is going to be different," he states. "I'm going to surprise everyone." What won't be a surprise will be the exciting original big band charts, the high level of musicianship, the great sounds of a contemporary big-band and the stella trumpet artistry of one of today's truly gifted improvisationalists. The new CD will again demonstrate the musical mastery of Melton Mustafa.



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Linda Virgin

I must say I got more than I bargain for with this CD. I love it!!! Smooth, classy and jazzy. I love it!!!