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MPT Trio (Mela / Paz / Trujillo): Volume 1 (577 Records)

Influenced by both free jazz and Caribbean folk music, the NYC-based MPT Trio, led by Francisco Mela (Crash Trio, Joe Lovano, McCoy Tyner, John Scofield, Kenny Barron, Gary Bartz), presents a stylistically innovative sound on their debut album, presenting eight original pieces blending diverse musical traditions with contemporary & avant-garde jazz structures.

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product information:

UPC: 755491178140

Label: 577 Records
Catalog ID: 5851
Squidco Product Code: 29812

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2020
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded at Douglas Recording, in Brooklyn, New York, on February 21st, 2020 by Chris Gilroy.


Francisco Mela-drums

Hery Paz-tenor saxophone

Juanma Trujillo-guitar

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Artist Biographies:

"Francisco Jose Mela is a Cuban drummer and percussionist who has performed with a wide array of prominent international Latin and jazz artists including Kenny Barron, Gary Bartz, JoAnne Brackeen, Jane Bunnett, Regina Carter, Anat Cohen, Paquito D'Rivera, George Garzone, Larry Grenadier, Stefon Harris, Lionel Loueke, Joe Lovano, Jason Moran, John Patitucci, John Scofield, Esperanza Spalding, Mark Turner, McCoy Tyner, Chucho Valdés, Kenny Werner, and many others.

Born in Bayamo, Cuba, Francisco Mela studied at the Music School of Arts El Yarey as a teenager before furthering his studies at the National School of Arts for Teachers, el CENCEA. He taught at Rafael's Cabrera Conservatory of Music and played with some of the country's top Latin jazz musicians, as well as leading his group, MelaSon Latin Jazz Band, that toured throughout Mexico. In 2000, he moved to Boston to study at Berklee College of Music and was invited to join the percussion faculty. He became the house drummer at the Wally's Café. It was here where he developed the concept for what would later be his own group.

In 2005, Mela joined the quartet of saxophonist Joe Lovano. Of particular note was the group's 2008 album on Blue Note entitled Folk Art.Later that year, Mela was approached by McCoy Tyner to join his trio.

Mela was named the Twin Cities Jazz Festival's first artistic director in 2014, Before appointment, he served as artistic director for the Xalapa Jazz Festival in Veracruz, Mexico (2010-2013).

In late 2016, Mela was part of an inaugural ensemble that joined Afro-Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés and saxophonist Joe Lovano for an international tour throughout Europe and North America. He also leads his own group, The Crash Trio."

-Wikipedia (

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"Hery Paz is a saxophonist and painter born in Cuba, who embodies a rich and diverse color palette. Explicit not only in painting but equally manifested in his distinction as a musician and composer. Ranging from a singular melodic imagination and harmonic depth to contrasting and contrapuntal textures. His solos are imbued with purpose, a sense of patience and a willingness to venture into the unknown. "Paz's melodic lines are made with art, his lyricism does not fit anything you anticipate listening to, having the ability to surprise." -Jazz Trail. He has won the acclaim and respect of legendary jazz musicians such as Fred Hersch. Who called him "... a revelation, a musician of extraordinary strength". Hery is currently an integral element of the creative music scene in New York City. Where he has worked with artists such as Francisco Mela, Ralph Alessi, Fred Hersch, Dave Liebman, Thomas Morgan, George Garzone, Tony Malaby, Ingrid Laubrock, Kris Davis, Ethan Iverson, Miguel Zenón, Frank Carlberg, Tom Rainey, Gerald Cleaver, Bob Moses, Ran Blake, Joe Morris, Charles Downs and Michael Attias. He also holds a Master's degree from the New England Conservatory in Boston."

-Hery Paz Website (

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"Juanma Trujillo. Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, guitarist Juanma Trujillo has performed with several important Venezuelan bands and artists including El Regaño, Domingo en Llamas, Gustavo Medina, Monsalve y los Forajidos. In 2005, he moved to Los Angeles, California and had the pleasure of performing regularly at major Los Angeles music venues with Gary Fukushima, Gary Pratt, Michael Mull, Brandon Sherman and Emilio Terranova among others. Since moving to New York City in 2014 Juanma has been an active member of the Jazz and Improvised music scene, playing in groups with artists such as Francisco Mela, Ras Moshé, Mimi Jones, Guillermo Gregorio, Nick Grinder, Rebecca Sullivan, Ethan Helm, Leonor Falcón, Juan Pablo Carletti, Christof Knoche, and Andrew Schiller among others. Juanma's activity in multiple musical ensembles has enabled him to perform in various venues all over the world, including Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Venezuela, Austria and Slovenia.

Juanma has positioned himself at the forefront of cutting edge improvisational and experimental creative music. He has the ability to generate emotive and powerful musical statements that transcend the scope of typical structures, analysis, or preconceived systems, and engage not only the ears, but the mind and spirit as well. Because of his boundless curiosity and constant study, he is capable of working comfortably and successfully in many genres of music. His compositions are challenging, clear, cohesive and profound. Juanma continually strives to innovate amongst his contemporaries while also incorporating the mastery of his predecessors into his forward-leaning artistic explorations."

-Juanma Trujillo Website (

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track listing:

1. Calipso 4:45

2. Sustain 2:56

3. Suite For Leo Brouwer 9:24

4. Vino 4:20

5. Naima 6:15

6. Baldor 5:15

7. Whisper 3:25

8. El Llanto De La Tierra 6:35
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Emerging from sun-soaked Caribbean folk music and the shadowy foundations of Free Jazz, the MPT Trio, led by Francisco Mela (Joe Lovano, McCoy Tyner, John Scofield, Esperanza Spalding, George Garzone, Kenny Barron, Gary Bartz), presents a stylistically innovative sound on their debut album, Volume I. In an impressive first release, the group curates a set of eight original songs that explores the scope of their concept as a band, blending diverse musical traditions with contemporary and avant-garde jazz structures.

Over the course of two and a half years, Francisco Mela, Hery Paz and Juanma Trujillo came together for rehearsals and periodic performances, both improvising and composing, to create a sound that transcends genre. The album features the band leader Mela on a variety of drums, Paz on saxophone and Trujillo on guitar, with each artist using their instrument in innovative ways, demonstrating their artistic curiosity and the deep collaborative connection between the band's members.

The album's eight tracks vary widely in their structure and atmosphere, offering divergent interpretations of their influences. Many songs are rooted in traditional song forms, like the bright opener "Calipso" which features distinctive steel drums reminiscent of Caribbean calypsos. Similarly, the ballad "Naima" is grounded in a more traditional structure, opening with a yearning saxophone solo and slowly building towards familiar guitar chord progressions. Other tracks like "Sustain" are far more textural and experimental, deconstructing easy harmonies and rhythms in favor of a more challenging, discordant jazz that displays their creative range. Likewise, songs like "Vino" and "Baldor" represent the explosive possibilities of the group's less restrained sounds, building up towards crescendos that border on rock, propelled forward by aggressive rhythms. The album's centerpiece, "Suite for Leo Brouwer" is a slow-paced meditation through a series of musical vignettes, showcasing the ensemble's refined orchestral sensibility and its capacity for complex arrangement.

Throughout the album, Mela, Paz and Trujillo render their compositions as a unit, exploring their sound with confidence and ease. Creating dense events full of bright tones as well as remarkable moments of minimal instrumentation, the trio returns to many of the same reprises, rhythms and melodies that have come to define the Afro-Caribbean musical genre while carving out their own unique niche in a genre-fluid music world."-577 Records

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Trio Recordings
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
South & Central American + Caribbean Improvisation
New in Improvised Music

Search for other titles on the label:
577 Records.

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