big fat music Wednesdays

(and sometimes Fridays)

presented by Stephen Gauci

November

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

8:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Cooper Moore and Stephen Gauci

As a composer, performer, instrument builder/designer, storyteller, teacher, mentor, and organizer, Cooper-Moore has been a major, if somewhat behind-the-scenes, catalyst in the world of creative music for over 40 years. As a child prodigy Cooper-Moore played piano in churches near his birthplace in the Piedmont region of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. His performance roots in the realm of avant jazz music date to the NYC Loft Jazz era in the early/mid-70s. His first fully committed jazz group was formed in 1970 - the collective trio Apogee with David S. Ware and drummer Marc Edwards. Sonny Rollins asked them to open for him at the Village Vanguard in 1973, and they did so with aplomb. A studio recording of this group was made in 1977, and issued as Birth of a Being on hatHut under Ware’s name in 1979 (re-mixed and re-issued in expanded form on AUM Fidelity in 2015!). Following an evidently rather trying European tour with Ware, Beaver Harris, and Brian Smith in 1981, Cooper-Moore returned home and completely destroyed his piano, with sledgehammer and fire, in his backyard. He didn’t play piano again until some years after, instead focusing his energies from 1981-1985 on developing and implementing curriculum to teach children through music via the Head Start program. Returning to New York in 1985, he spent a great part of his creative time working and performing with theatre and dance productions, largely utilizing his hand-crafted instruments. It was not until the early 90s, when William Parker asked him to join his group In Order To Survive, that Cooper-Moore’s pianistic gifts were again regularly featured in the jazz context. In the early 'aughts the group Triptych Myth was his own first regular working jazz group in decades and together they blazed some trails and released two albums: one rich formative, and one exquisite. A destined creative re-union with David S. Ware in the Planetary Unknown quartet, the Digital Primitives trio with Assif Tsahar & Chad Taylor, and continued work with William Parker followed. Cooper-Moore's creative life continues well-strong and unabated into the present day. He will be/was the Lifetime Achievement Honoree at the 22nd iteration of Vision Festval, NYC on May 29, 2017.

Stephen Gauci is recognized as one of the most distinctive and enigmatic saxophonists on the New York City improvised music scene.

Stricken by a childhood illness that has left him with a profound hearing loss, Gauci was drawn to the clear, deep, tone of the tenor saxophone. This was the fist step in a lifelong relationship with, and investigation of tone, timbre, and especially.. voice. The nature of Gauci’s hearing loss are that outer sounds require of him the utmost level of concentration and focus. The flip side, however, is that inner sounds, and the inner voice, are magnified… crystal clear and singing. The intense outward focus developed as a result of Gauci’s hearing impairment has been turned inward like a laser to illuminate, and manifest, the inner voice.

Gauci has performed with many of today's leading improvisers including Nels Cline, Karl Berger, Kenny Wessel, Kris Davis, Tyshawn Sorey, Daniel Carter, George Garzone, Nate Wooley, Joe Morris, William Parker, Steve Swell, Mike Bisio, Kirk Knuffke, Ingebrigt Haker Flaten, Tim Daisey, Dave Rempis.

Stephen currently resides in Brooklyn where he runs the "Bushwick Improvised Music Series" , performing every monday night with his quartet featuring Sandy Ewen, Adam Lane, and Kevin Shea, and presenting weekly concerts featuring many of today's current and future ground-breaking improvisers. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

9:15 PM - 10:15 PM

Andrew Schiller with Tony Malaby, Ethan Helm, Hery Paz, Matt Honor

A native of Phoenix, AZ, Andrew Schiller is currently residing in Brooklyn, NY. Andrew’s attraction to music stems from childhood friends urging him to pick up the bass guitar and join their punk rock band. While his musical tastes have evolved since then, he still aspires to replicate the same gusto and fearlessness he had as a boy playing music in a friend’s garage. Andrew later transitioned to the double bass, finding a powerful connection to the instrument. As a young adult, he discovered his love for composition and gradually carved out a unique voice after years spent imitating an array of musical icons.

Over the last decade, Andrew has moved from Phoenix to Boston to New York City, working as both a bandleader and sideman in various musical styles—the bulk of his concentration on jazz and improvised music. Andrew's debut album, "Tied Together, Not To The Ground," was released by Red Piano Records in May 2017 and features his adventurous and unique compositional style.

The Sonoran Suite is an eight-part avant-garde/improvised piece of chamber music for quintet—written for and inspired by the Sonoran Desert in the American Southwest. The suite highlight's Schiller's unique compositional style and is sculpted with the improvisational prowess of Tony Malaby (tenor sax), Ethan Helm (alto sax), Hery Paz (bass clarinet), Matt Honor (drums), and Andrew Schiller (double bass). The resulting piece is a reimagination of the desert and its elements—paying tribute to its blistering heat, surreal mountain ranges, thorny and venomous wildlife, and a stubborn will to exist with little to no water.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

8:00 PM - 10:15 PM

Matthew Shipp with Allen Lowe, Kevin Ray, Newman, and Taylor Baker

Matthew Shipp was born December 7, 1960 in Wilmington, Delaware. He started piano at 5 years old with the regular piano lessons most kids have experienced. He fell in love with jazz at 12 years old. After moving to New York in 1984 he quickly became one of the leading lights in the New York jazz scene. He was a sideman in the David S. Ware quartet and also for Roscoe Mitchell's Note Factory before making the decision to concentrate on his own music.

 Mr Shipp has reached the holy grail of jazz in that he possesses a unique style on his instrument that is all of his own- and he's one of the few in jazz that can say so. Mr. Shipp has recorded a lot of albums with many labels but his 2 most enduring relationships have been with two labels. In the 1990s he recorded a number of chamber jazz cds with Hatology, a group of cds that charted a new course for jazz that, to this day, the jazz world has not realized. In the 2000s Mr Shipp has been curator and director of the label Thirsty Ear's "Blue Series" and has also recorded for them. In this collection of recordings he has generated a whole body of work that is visionary, far reaching and many faceted.  

Matthew Shipp is truly one of the leading lights of a new generation of jazz giants.

Historian, composer, and tenor saxophonist Allen Lowe is the rare jazz musician with an overtly literary bent. His output has included a jazz adaptation of the Georg Buchner play Woyzeck (also the source of the Alban Berg opera), a record dedicated to Bertold Brecht, as well as an album-length tribute to Louis Armstrong. His knowledge of jazz is leavened by a more than passing interest in other creative disciplines, especially experimental theatre. Lowe was born and raised in Massapequa, Long Island (a high school classmate was saxophonist/composer Phillip Johnston). In his teens, Lowe played in various jazz and rock bands. He played occasional gigs in while his 20s, without making music his profession. He wrote criticism, organized festivals, and taught jazz history, in addition to working a variety of non-music jobs. In 1983 he dedicated himself to playing his own music, and began composing for and performing with such New York-area musicians such as Roswell Rudd, David Murray, and Doc Cheatham. His Armstrong tribute, Mental Strain at Dawn, was recorded (mostly) live at the Knitting Factory with Lowe's Jack Purvis Memorial Orchestra -- named after a long-forgotten early jazz trumpeter. Lowe's records have been critically acclaimed, but the relatively esoteric and individualistic nature of his music have apparently worked against him from a commercial perspective. Lowe is also a sound restoration specialist; he's done mastering work for Michael Feinstein's radio series on the music of George Gershwin, and for the nine CD set American Pop from Minstrel to Mojo: On Record, 1893-1946 (he also authored the accompanying book). Lowe was also an audio and historical consultant Ken Burns public television documentary, Jazz.

As a young man casting about for direction, critically acclaimed bassist (“able to hear around corners…”, “… a wonder”) Kevin Ray drifted into the New School jazz program, where he became a protege of Reggie Workman’s; a deep relationship that abides to this day. Under Reggie’s tutelage he developed an affinity for adventurous artists such as The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Henry Threadgill, The World Saxophone Quartet, Andrew Cyrille, and others. Supporting himself in the early 90s with a straight gig managing a division at Forbes Publishing, Kevin continued to study and play. Toward the end of the decade, he came into contact with one of his spiritual mentors, Andrew Hill. “Andrew gave me the confidence to be truly serious about becoming a musician,” Ray explains. For ten years he played regularly with Hill and continued to expand his horizons by performing and recording with other outstanding artists such as John Hicks, Bobby Zankel, Oliver Lake, Greg Osby, John Stubblefield, Ray Anderson, Kelvyn Bell, Elliott Sharp, Hamiet Bluiett, Nels Cline, Ursula Oppens, Ken Peplowski, J.D. Allen, and Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre. He has also performed in the premieres of major works by a wide range of composers, including Lee Hyla, Joe McPhee and Leroy Jenkins. In addition, since 2012, he has been a member, along with Frank Lacy and Andrew Drury, of the collective trio 1032K.

Newman Taylor Baker is a drummer best known for Singin' Drums, his exploration of the washboard, and his work with musicians Henry Threadgill, Billy Bang, Henry Grimes, Leroy Jenkins, and Diedre Murray and choreographers Mickey Davidson and Joanne TuckerMr.Baker currently performs in the ensembles of Makoto Kuriya, Jemeel Moondoc, Sylwester Ostrowski, Henrique Prince, Cheryl Pyle and Matthew Shipp, among others.Singin' Drums, his solo drumset project, has also featured collaborations with fellow drummers Horacee Arnold, Steve Berrios, Susie Ibarra. In 2012, Mr. Baker collaborated with his niece, mezzo-soprano Andrea Baker, along with pianist Richard Lewis, on Singin' Drums: Voice and Drum which premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland.Baker released his premiere solo drum recording, Drum Suite Life, on Innova label in 2013.For the past five years, Newman T. Baker has been developing creative music for the washboard. He currently performs as a duo with guitarist Marvin Sewell and has recently launched Washboard XT to explore new musical territory in the quartet and quintet setting. Baker has been performing with the Ebony Hillbillies since 2010.Mr. Baker currently offers clinics and master classes in collaboration with saxophonist Sylwester Ostrowki to music conservatories throughout Poland. With Mickey D and Friends and the Avodah Dance Company, hebrings dance/music residencies and workshops to schools, communities and correctional facilities throughout the U.S.

December

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

8:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Cooper Moore and Stephen Gauci

As a composer, performer, instrument builder/designer, storyteller, teacher, mentor, and organizer, Cooper-Moore has been a major, if somewhat behind-the-scenes, catalyst in the world of creative music for over 40 years. As a child prodigy Cooper-Moore played piano in churches near his birthplace in the Piedmont region of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. His performance roots in the realm of avant jazz music date to the NYC Loft Jazz era in the early/mid-70s. His first fully committed jazz group was formed in 1970 - the collective trio Apogee with David S. Ware and drummer Marc Edwards. Sonny Rollins asked them to open for him at the Village Vanguard in 1973, and they did so with aplomb. A studio recording of this group was made in 1977, and issued as Birth of a Being on hatHut under Ware’s name in 1979 (re-mixed and re-issued in expanded form on AUM Fidelity in 2015!). Following an evidently rather trying European tour with Ware, Beaver Harris, and Brian Smith in 1981, Cooper-Moore returned home and completely destroyed his piano, with sledgehammer and fire, in his backyard. He didn’t play piano again until some years after, instead focusing his energies from 1981-1985 on developing and implementing curriculum to teach children through music via the Head Start program. Returning to New York in 1985, he spent a great part of his creative time working and performing with theatre and dance productions, largely utilizing his hand-crafted instruments. It was not until the early 90s, when William Parker asked him to join his group In Order To Survive, that Cooper-Moore’s pianistic gifts were again regularly featured in the jazz context. In the early 'aughts the group Triptych Myth was his own first regular working jazz group in decades and together they blazed some trails and released two albums: one rich formative, and one exquisite. A destined creative re-union with David S. Ware in the Planetary Unknown quartet, the Digital Primitives trio with Assif Tsahar & Chad Taylor, and continued work with William Parker followed. Cooper-Moore's creative life continues well-strong and unabated into the present day. He will be/was the Lifetime Achievement Honoree at the 22nd iteration of Vision Festval, NYC on May 29, 2017.

Stephen Gauci is recognized as one of the most distinctive and enigmatic saxophonists on the New York City improvised music scene.

Stricken by a childhood illness that has left him with a profound hearing loss, Gauci was drawn to the clear, deep, tone of the tenor saxophone. This was the fist step in a lifelong relationship with, and investigation of tone, timbre, and especially.. voice. The nature of Gauci’s hearing loss are that outer sounds require of him the utmost level of concentration and focus. The flip side, however, is that inner sounds, and the inner voice, are magnified… crystal clear and singing. The intense outward focus developed as a result of Gauci’s hearing impairment has been turned inward like a laser to illuminate, and manifest, the inner voice.

Gauci has performed with many of today's leading improvisers including Nels Cline, Karl Berger, Kenny Wessel, Kris Davis, Tyshawn Sorey, Daniel Carter, George Garzone, Nate Wooley, Joe Morris, William Parker, Steve Swell, Mike Bisio, Kirk Knuffke, Ingebrigt Haker Flaten, Tim Daisey, Dave Rempis.

Stephen currently resides in Brooklyn where he runs the "Bushwick Improvised Music Series" , performing every monday night with his quartet featuring Sandy Ewen, Adam Lane, and Kevin Shea, and presenting weekly concerts featuring many of today's current and future ground-breaking improvisers. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

9:15 PM - 10:15 PM

Jeremy Carstedt Trio

New York City based drummer/songwriter/vocalist Jeremy Carlstedt, known for his dynamic style, organic feel on the drums and musical intuition, has performed with some of the most forward thinking artists in jazz, rock, electronic and world music.As a protege of the legendary Chico Hamilton, Jeremy has absorbed music history in the best possible classroom: on the bandstand as a member of Hamilton's group Euphoria as well as Vincent Chancey's Phat Chance, Brian Settles and Central Union and a new duet with Tim Motzer, which have put him on some of the world's most prestigious stages including, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Newport Jazz Festival, Syracuse Jazz Festival and Roulette.With more than a dozen releases to his credit, Jeremy's first solo recording, 'When I Wake Up’ an art-rock EP featuring his drumming, vocals and compositions, was released in October 2012 on 1k Recordings.  His latest, 'Stars Are Far' was released in November 2015 and has received acclaim from many well known art music publications.

Anders Nilsson is a Swedish New York-based guitarist, composer, improviser. He plays electric guitars, 11-string alto guitar and baĝlama. His output spans a wide musical spectrum ranging from solo shows (“Night Guitar”), Anders Nilsson Group (a rhythm-heavy band in NYC),  a trio with saxophonist Michael Attias, and bassist Ken Filiano, Anders Nilsson’s AORTA (a jazz-rock type band in Sweden). He is also a band member in several groups playing jazz or improvised music. After receiving a BA from Malmö Academy of Music and having worked as a musician in Sweden for a few years he moved to New York in 2000 and got his MA from CCNY. He has performed and/or recorded or toured internationally with many artists associated with the blues/jazz/experimental paradigms such as Kalabalik (with Raoul Björkenheim and Gerald Cleaver), Paquito D’Rivera, William Parker, Elliot Sharp, Eugene Chadbourne, Fay Victor Ensemble, poets John Sinclair and Bonnie Barnett, art-metal band Angelblood, and Persian vocalist Mohsen Namjoo. Always welcoming of interdisciplinary interaction, he has collaborated with Butoh artist Akira Kasai, theatre director Doris Mirescu and video artist Arrien Zinghini. Nilsson’s work as a composer includes music for short films, dance performances, string quartet, theatre plays, as well as a constantly growing book of a hundred compositions including brief to epic works for solo guitar, jazz, to large experimental ensemble works. Many of these works have been released on several acclaimed albums.

Saxophonist and composer Brian Settles has established himself as a rising force with a long-term artistic vision. Settles blends the outwardly engaging with the deeply personal, reconciling his intimate command of the jazz lineage with a commitment to his own experimental voice. He performs regularly with some of modern jazz's leading groups, including Tomas Fujiwara and The Hook Up, Michael Formanek's Cheating Heart and Big Band Kolossus, and bands led by Jonathan Finlayson. Settles has also accompanied the likes of Gil Scott-Heron, Jason Moran and Marc Cary.

Settles’ two albums as a leader feature entirely original music, highlighting his buoyant, pithy compositions: Secret Handshake (Engine, 2011) featured the five-piece Central Union, and was named the best jazz record of the year by both the Washington City Paper and CapitalBop.com. Settles followed up with Folk (Engine, 2013), a trio album acclaimed by Something Else Reviews and the NYC Jazz Record.Born and raised in Washington, DC, Settles picked up the saxophone in the eighth grade and was immediately enamored. The next year he enrolled in the prestigious Duke Ellington School of the Arts, where he spent the next four years studying with renowned saxophonist and educator Davey Yarborough. During his time at Ellington, Settles began a ten-year mentorship with tenor saxophone legend Stanley Turrentine. This exposure to the life of a veteran performer and recording artist solidified his plans of becoming a jazz musician.Settles went on to attend the New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music, where he was mentored by bass legend Reggie Workman and saxophonist Arnie Lawrence, the school’s founder. After graduating from the New School, Settles joined forces with bassist, Tom Abbs and drummer, Chad Taylor. Under Abbs’ leadership, the trio (Frequency Response) performed throughout New York City and in 2003 (with the addition of cellist, Okkyung Lee) recorded the album Conscription (CIMP - 288).In 2008 Settles earned a master’s degree in music from Howard University, where he studied with the great saxophonist Charlie Young. While at Howard, Settles joined drummer Tomas Fujiwara in The Hook Up. The quintet has since released three well-received albums, and has been celebrated by the New York Times as “a gathering of sharp young improvisers … insightful [and] invigorating.” And Settles has earned a growing chorus of acclaim on his own: In 2015 he was listed as a rising star on tenor saxophone, in Downbeat magazine’s critics poll, and he earned an artist fellowship from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. All the while he’s worked with young musicians as a teacher and mentor at the Washington Jazz Arts Institute, where he has served since 2002.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

8:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Cooper Moore and Stephen Gauci

As a composer, performer, instrument builder/designer, storyteller, teacher, mentor, and organizer, Cooper-Moore has been a major, if somewhat behind-the-scenes, catalyst in the world of creative music for over 40 years. As a child prodigy Cooper-Moore played piano in churches near his birthplace in the Piedmont region of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. His performance roots in the realm of avant jazz music date to the NYC Loft Jazz era in the early/mid-70s. His first fully committed jazz group was formed in 1970 - the collective trio Apogee with David S. Ware and drummer Marc Edwards. Sonny Rollins asked them to open for him at the Village Vanguard in 1973, and they did so with aplomb. A studio recording of this group was made in 1977, and issued as Birth of a Being on hatHut under Ware’s name in 1979 (re-mixed and re-issued in expanded form on AUM Fidelity in 2015!). Following an evidently rather trying European tour with Ware, Beaver Harris, and Brian Smith in 1981, Cooper-Moore returned home and completely destroyed his piano, with sledgehammer and fire, in his backyard. He didn’t play piano again until some years after, instead focusing his energies from 1981-1985 on developing and implementing curriculum to teach children through music via the Head Start program. Returning to New York in 1985, he spent a great part of his creative time working and performing with theatre and dance productions, largely utilizing his hand-crafted instruments. It was not until the early 90s, when William Parker asked him to join his group In Order To Survive, that Cooper-Moore’s pianistic gifts were again regularly featured in the jazz context. In the early 'aughts the group Triptych Myth was his own first regular working jazz group in decades and together they blazed some trails and released two albums: one rich formative, and one exquisite. A destined creative re-union with David S. Ware in the Planetary Unknown quartet, the Digital Primitives trio with Assif Tsahar & Chad Taylor, and continued work with William Parker followed. Cooper-Moore's creative life continues well-strong and unabated into the present day. He will be/was the Lifetime Achievement Honoree at the 22nd iteration of Vision Festval, NYC on May 29, 2017.

Stephen Gauci is recognized as one of the most distinctive and enigmatic saxophonists on the New York City improvised music scene.

Stricken by a childhood illness that has left him with a profound hearing loss, Gauci was drawn to the clear, deep, tone of the tenor saxophone. This was the fist step in a lifelong relationship with, and investigation of tone, timbre, and especially.. voice. The nature of Gauci’s hearing loss are that outer sounds require of him the utmost level of concentration and focus. The flip side, however, is that inner sounds, and the inner voice, are magnified… crystal clear and singing. The intense outward focus developed as a result of Gauci’s hearing impairment has been turned inward like a laser to illuminate, and manifest, the inner voice.

Gauci has performed with many of today's leading improvisers including Nels Cline, Karl Berger, Kenny Wessel, Kris Davis, Tyshawn Sorey, Daniel Carter, George Garzone, Nate Wooley, Joe Morris, William Parker, Steve Swell, Mike Bisio, Kirk Knuffke, Ingebrigt Haker Flaten, Tim Daisey, Dave Rempis.

Stephen currently resides in Brooklyn where he runs the "Bushwick Improvised Music Series" , performing every monday night with his quartet featuring Sandy Ewen, Adam Lane, and Kevin Shea, and presenting weekly concerts featuring many of today's current and future ground-breaking improvisers. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

9:15 PM - 10:15 PM

Anthony Coleman with Henry Fraser, Francisco Mela

Pianist and composer Anthony Coleman has gained recognition as an inspired player and talented standout of the avant-garde and klezmer-oriented jazz coming out of N.Y.C.'s downtown throughout the '80s and '90s. Coleman has performed and recorded with just about every musician involved in this downtown scene, including John Zorn, guitarist Elliott Sharp, David Moss, renowned trumpeter Dave Douglas, premier accordion player Guy Klucevsek, David Shea, former Captain Beefheart bandmember Gary Lucas, classical and klezmer clarinetist David Krakauer, guitarist Marc Ribot, and many more. Coleman has performed and recorded all over the world, with his groups Sephardic Tinge -- they've toured Europe three times, and released two CDs -- and the Selfhaters, all releases on the Tzadik label. Found on the related Avant label is Coleman's Disco by Night, a recording inspired by his experiences in ex-Yugoslavia. Through most of the '90s, Coleman and saxophonist Roy Nathanson have co-led projects, performing all over the U.S. and Europe together. The duo has also recorded several albums, including Lobster and Friend. Coleman has received commissions for his compositions from various ensembles including Bang on a Can, Concert Artists Guild, and the Crosstown Ensemble. His compositions can also be heard on harpist Carol Emanuel's Koch release Tops of Trees and Guy Klucevsek's accordion extravaganza Manhattan Cascade, among others. In 2006, Coleman released two albums, Shmutsige Magnaten, in which he played the songs of Yiddish folk composer Mordechai Geburtig, who died during the Holocaust, and Pushy Blueness.

Francisco Mela is a favorite amongst jazz's elite instrumentalists, among them, Joe Lovano, John Scofield, JoAnne Brackeen, Kenny Barron, Gary Bartz, Bobby Watsonand McCoy Tyner, all of whom cite his charisma, sophistication, and life-affirming spirit as an extension of his incredible talents as a composer and drummer.

Francisco Mela was born in 1968 in Bayamo, Cuba. He moved to Boston in 2000 to pursue a degree at the acclaimed Berklee College of Music and, quickly thereafter, the faculty recognized that Mela had much to offer students and promptly hired him to teach at the school. Mela rapidly made a name for himself on the Boston scene, becoming the house drummer at the legendary Wally’s Café Jazz Club. It was at Wally’s that Mela began developing a concept for his own band, one that would feature the sounds of modern jazz with the traditional music he grew up with in Cuba.

Fellow Berklee faculty member and world-renown saxophonist, Joe Lovano, heard Mela and was immediately impressed, hiring him shortly after to play in his quartet. Since 2005, Mela has been an integral part of Joe Lovano’s quartet and his new group, “Us Five,” a two-drummer quintet. Their 2009 Blue Note Records recording, titled Folk Art, was considered by many critics to be Lovano’s most adventurous to date. In 2009, he was tapped by jazz legend McCoy Tyner to join his trio. Said Tyner of his new young drummer, “Mela is just a fantastic player. He has his own style and his own sound, which is what I look for in a drummer.”

Mela’s first CD, Melao was released in 2006 and called one of the best albums of the year by All About Jazz. Similarly, The Village Voice picked Melao as the best debut by an artist of ‘06.

Mela’s second release as a leader, Cirio, was recorded over a week-long period at the Blue Note for Half Note Records in 2008. The recording featured an all-star cast of Mark Turner, Jason Moran, Larry Grenadier and Lionel Loueke. Blog critics wrote “this is modern jazz of high order, but with Mela's own touch of Havana added...” affirming Mela’s unique niche in the melting pot that is now New York’s “jazz scene.” WDUQ picked the album as one of the best jazz CDs of 2008.

Mela’s third recording, Cuban Safari, is an amalgamation of his favorite bands that inspired him to become a drummer – Miles Davis’ fusion group featuring Chick Corea and Keith Jarrett, Weather Report, and the Latin-jazz super group Irakere.

On his second release on Half Note, Tree of Life, Mela offers a passionate fusion of Cuban polyrhythms and propulsive modernism. The album is spirited evidence of Melaʼs distinguished place among young group leaders. It received critical acclaims by Downbeat, Jazziz, All.about.jazz.comirockjazz.com among others. It was nominated for “2011 Latin Jazz Boundary Breaking Album” by Latin Jazz Corner, “Recommended release” by New York City Jazz Record and “Newest Best Jazz Takes” by Japan’s Diskunion. Downbeat magazine gave 4 stars to Tree of Life.

FE (2016) is Francisco Mela's fourth and most recent project as a leader. The self-released album spotlights two standout musicians that join him to form The Crash Trio, pianist Leo Genovese, and bassist Gerald Cannon. Appearing as a featured guest on the recording is legendary guitarist, John Scofield. Early response to the album has been overwhelmingly positive, and the trio received tremendous support when they toured parts of Europe earlier this year.  FE is of particular significance to Mela and is a tribute to his late parents. The Crash Trio will be performing this fall through 2017 in support of the new album.

Henry Fraser (b. 1991) is a bassist, composer, and improviser from Boston, MA.  He received his BA from New England Conservatory of Music in the spring of 2014, where he studied with Cecil McBee, John McNeil, Dave Holland, Anthony Coleman, & Ted Reichman. Henry's parallel pursuits of technical mastery and novel experimentation have put him at the forefront of the experimental music scene in New York and beyond, playing  at such venues as Moers Festival, Panama Jazz Festival, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, (Le) Poisson Rouge, Roulette Intermedium and  Joe's Pub. Henry has worked with Joe Morris, Tony Malaby, Mat Maneri, Weasel Walter, Axel Dörner, Judith Berkson, Ryan Power, Charmaine Lee, Chris Pitsiokos, and many others. Current projects include CP Unit, Brandon Seabrook Trio, Anthony Coleman Trio, The Full Salon, and solo music for the double bass.