This project was one of dire concern as my oldest son, Melton Rahsaan Mustafa, wanted to ensure that my original music would be documented in various styles. Recording in this particular small jazz band setting was the perfect opportunity for me to demonstrate my agility, finesse and romantic lyrical approach to playing the trumpet. This approach is what distinguishes me from other trumpeters and is what I call “my voice”.
The musicians featured are internationally recognized. These jazz musicians have earned the right to be called the best in the business. The line up includes Victor Lewis on drums, Essiet Essiet on bass and Mulgrew Miller on piano (all are musicians that I have played, recorded and toured with). I was honored to work with them and I enjoyed their musicianship and professionalism. I especially wanted to introduce the young saxophonist Patrick Bartley on this recording. He was in the 11th grade in high school when we flew him up to New York to do this recording in 2010. It was my way of passing the torch to the next generation. Patrick is definitely a force to be reckoned with!
I thank my son, Melton Rahsaan Mustafa (Executive Producer) for taking on this project during a time in my life that took me through a health challenge. Excruciating pain presented several challenges that stopped the project temporarily. A Stage 4 cancer diagnosis followed, leaving me unable to finish the project as planned. Undeterred by these challenges, we went back to New York and two years later, finished what we started. Thanks to Almighty God!
International Jazz Trumpeter, Composer and Recording Artist
Melton Shakir Mustafa
Producing “The Traveling Man” has been one of the most significant, rewarding, eye opening, humbling and life changing events in my life. This CD is a musical story about a man traveling through the world and his life experiences. Ironically enough, while following this musical journey of life you can hear joy, pain, celebration and struggle.
This project is significant to me because it documents my dad (Melton S. Mustafa’s) original small band music and introduces a young and super talented saxophonist by the name of Patrick Bartley. At the time of this recording Patrick was in the 11th grade and had expressed an interest in my dads music. My dad (Melton S. Mustafa) looked at this recording as an opportunity to pass the torch to the next generation of jazz musicians. Recording this CD was life changing because during the recording we discovered that dad was in stage 4 of prostate cancer. Before this we knew something was wrong but it had not been diagnosed. It was very humbling seeing a man play through that type of pain. This sickness made playing the trumpet almost impossible and extremely difficult to watch. As you listen to the recording you can hear both his love for music and the pain of a debilitating disease we call cancer.
I am humbled by the fact that I was able to produce such a significant CD, which documents original jazz music by Melton S. Mustafa, introduces saxophonist Patrick Bartley and features Pianist Mulgrew Miller, Drummer Victor Lewis, Bassist Essiet Essiet, Trombonist Jason Jackson and Percussionist Ray Mantilla. Thank you mom Zakiyyah Mustafa and dad Melton S. Mustafa for being so supportive. As with all of the projects I have produced I hope you enjoy!
Melton Rahsaan Mustafa