#MusicMonday for ya!
When I first heard Aldana play, her virtuosity was impressive, but what really blew me away was the maturity of her sound. It manifests through clean, nuanced phrasing reminiscent of her early idol, Sonny Rollins. -- NPR's Alex W. Rodriguez
Jazz saxophonist Melissa Aldana is set to release her first record for Concord Music Group on June 24, 2014. (International release dates may vary) The self-titled album Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio is the first recording of the three band mates together - Aldana, bassist Pablo Menares and drummer Francisco Mela. Recorded at Sear Sound Recording Studio in New York, the album consists of originals written by all three band members and includes two covers - the Harry Warren classic You're My Everything and Thelonious Monk's Ask Me Now.
Speaking on this new album Aldana says, "Pablo Menares & Francisco Mela both help bring a unique perspective to playing in the saxophone trio format. Our approach is very much coming from the core of the Jazz Tradition, not least from contemporary musicians such as Kurt Rosenwinkel & Mark Turner, but with Mela being from Cuba and Pablo and I both from Chile, there is no question there is a flavor of that as well."
In September 2013, Melissa became the first female instrumentalist and first South American ever to win the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition. Judges for the competition included Jane Ira Bloom, Branford Marsalis, Jimmy Heath, Wayne Shorter and Bobby Watson. In addition to a scholarship to the Monk Institute, Melissa won a recording contract with Concord Music Group.
Born in 1988, Aldana began to play the saxophone as soon as she was able. She was taught by her father Marcos Aldana, who was also a renowned jazz saxophonist and sought out teacher in their hometown of Santiago, Chile. By age 13, Melissa was frequenting the jazz clubs in Santiago with her father and by 16 was headlining the Club de Jazz de Santiago, which, at the time, was the center of the Chilean jazz community. In 2005, with help from Panamanian jazz pianist Danilo Pérez, she procured auditions at the Berklee School of Music and the New England Conservatory. She was accepted into both and chose to attend Berklee, from which she graduated in 2009.
~ Concord Music Group