Opening night: Melissa Aldana at Minton’s Harlem

5 years ago  •  By  •  0 Comments

MAldana_IMG_0949Melissa Aldana’s 2014 was a hectic year full of firsts. She led her Crash Trio – also featuring Pablo Menares (b) & Francisco Mela (dr) – on extensive tours for the first time, performing at legendary festivals like Monterey Jazz Festival and festivals & venues in places like Copenhagen, Paris, Marciac (France), Vienna (Austria), Umbria (Italy). You can watch a video we took of a part of their performance at Monterey Jazz Festival on Sept. 19 by clicking here.

2015 looks to be no less exciting with many shows already on the concert calendar. And we are really excited about the first shows coming up in 2015: Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio will be performing at legendary Minton’s Harlem on January 9+10.

Minton’s is the club on 118th street in Harlem, NY where bebop was basically born. Legendary for the jam sessions hosted by Thelonious Monk, Kenny Clarke, Charlie Parker, Bud Powell and other bebop geniuses, Minton’s is forever part of jazz most central folklore. It laid dormant for years after a fire shut it down in 1974, and was rumored at one point to have been purchased by Robert De Niro, but nothing came of it all until it was suddenly reopened in late 2013 by one Mr. Richard Parsons. They have spared no expense in turning Minton’s into a classy venue, with beautiful woodpaneling & wallpaintings, giving it a real feel of the golden age of the Harlem Renaissance.

And Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio is, in our opinion, a perfect 21st century representation and illustration of what the bebopers put in motion back in the 1940ties. Melissa – a 26 year old woman from Santiago, Chile – is a real child of that school. She grew up on bebop, her father Marcos Aldana – himself a highly esteemed saxophonist – teaching her the art of transcribing Charlie Parker solos from she was 6 years old. Today her playing reveal deep influences from people like Sonny Rollins, Don Byas, Joe Henderson & Mark Turner. One of the most impressive aspects of her performances is her ballad playing, which showcases her beautiful woodwind tone & her musical patience and maturity perfectly. But she can also rip on a uptempo piece & play the blues, as the above video illustrates amply.

If you are in NYC then please stop by Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio’s shows at Minton’s on January 9+10. Melissa’s latest album is entitled “Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio” & was released by Concord Records on June 24, 2014.

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