Jazz drummer Mike Melito has been a mainstay on the upstate NY jazz scene for over 20 years. Appearing on many CDs as a sideman, this is his third CD as a leader and like his previous two CDs, has received much critical acclaim. All About Jazz writer David Orthmann says of Melito “ He’s a master of dynamics and shadings, he plays as if being felt is as important as being heard.” Orthmann also states “He’s an increasing rare trapster.” Melito has worked with some of the finest jazz musicians in the world. He’s worked with such names as James Moody, Barry Harris, JR Monterose, Joe Romano, Gene Bertoncini, Chris Potter, Eric Alexander, Steve Turre, Fred Wesley, and many others.
The Next Step features three New York city jazz veterans. Grant Stewart on tenor saxophone, whose robust tenor has been heard with the likes of Jimmy Cobb, Al Grey, Larry Goldings, Peter Bernstein, and Ryan Kisor. Joe Magnarelli on trumpet, who has been featured with Ray Barreto, Harry Connick Jr., and Louis Hayes. Bassist Neal Miner playing credits include Dina DeRose, Jane Monheit, Lewis Nash, and Larry Goldings. Rounding out the band is fellow upstate New York pianist Dino Losito. Who has played and recorded with Harry Allen, Houston Person, Mickey Roker, and Joe Romano.
Dave Miele of Jazz Improv Magazine writes “The Next Step is definitely a release for lovers of hardpop. You’ll find an excellent contemporary drummer with clearly defined roots that in no way prevent him from attaining an individual sound on the instrument