Mike Melillo

Live and Well

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Mike Melillo's second recording under his own name is a live solo piano concert, concentrating primarily on his original works. The opener, "Stroking," suggests that it evolved from a practice session, almost suggesting a summer rain that slowly evolves into a full-fledged thunderstorm for a short time then disappears. "Live and Well" is an up-tempo bop vehicle that sounds a bit like Bud Powell at his best and proves to be a showstopper. "Pro-Creation" features Melillo at his most adventurous, constantly changing direction in this challenging post-bop original. His interpretation of Thelonious Monk's "Ruby, My Dear" ventures far from its roots, while "Yesterdays" (a favorite of solo pianists) is transformed into a harmonically dense arrangement that proves there's still plenty of new avenues in which to explore this popular standard.

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