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The Next Step by Mike Melito

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 who 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 time. Stewart again rips his opportunity 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.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Mike Melito
  • CD Title: The Next Step
  • Genre: BeBop / Hard Bop
  • Year Released: 2004
  • Record Label: Independent
  • Rating: Five Stars
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