Tune in to New Music Monday to hear music from these new recordings; host Arturo Gómez will debut on Lunchtime! on Monday, April 3 at noon.

Elio Villafranca: “Standing By the Crossroads”
Always innovative, always keeping his unique western Cuban heritage intact and always releasing well-received albums. That said, pianist Elio’s latest is perhaps his best-to-date! For his first ArtistShare recording, a cooperative label founded by Maria Schneider for the benefit of musicians and not the label, Villafranca recruited some heavyweights as his guests, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Freddie Hendrix, Vincent Herring and others. Crossroads in Cuba-“cuatro caminos” is much more than choosing a path to travel, it’s the point pf convergence where one must make a crucial decision about which spirituality to follow. This 2-disc set takes the listener on a journey through Elio’s life journey from his homeland of the tobacco country of Cuba to New York, learning a new language and playing with new found musicians and friends including several of his compatriots who also fled Cuba in search of new horizons.

Towner Galaher; “Organ Trio”
Growing up in Portland, Oregon Towner became fascinated with the sounds of organ trios so for his 5th album as a leader he follows up with his first organ trio after previously recording with an organ ensemble. On this swingin’ album drummer Towner teams up with Hammond B-3 organist, Lonnie Gasperini and Marvin Horne on guitar. The 14-songs on this session are tributes to Galaher favorite organ trio tunes, examples are tracks by Jimmy McGriff, Jack McDuff, Dr. Lonnie Smith and naturally Jimmy Smith among others. In addition to the preceding artists tributes there are great covers of popular songs like Hot Barbecue, Alligator Boogaloo, Lover Man, Fever and Willow Weep For Me. A most enjoyable session that will be an ideal soundtrack for the upcoming spring and summer picnics, barbecues and back yard parties.

Mike Melito: “To Swing Is the Thing”
Born in suburban Rochester, NY where he still lives, Melito was a child prodigy playing drums with pro musicians as a pre-teen and beginning his professional career at just 16 years old debuting with vibraphonist Joe Locke. Mike graduated from the prestigious Eastman School of Music where he’s been an instructor for over 25 years. Melito is also the house drummer for the renowned Rochester Jazz Festival. His résumé of the jazz giants he has accompanied is extremely impressive and far too long to list here. His nine previous recordings as a leader have all been highly critically acclaimed and well received by jazz radio and streaming outlets. This time out Mile is joined by fellow Rochester great, Joe Magnarelli playing trumpet and flugelhorn, in addition to Grant Stewart-tenor sax, Jeb Patton-piano, and Neal Miner at the bass. This album definitely lives up to its title.

Now in its 20th Anniversary year of debuting the latest arrivals to the KUVO Jazz library, many of them are played ahead of their official release date. In addition to the music comments, I’ll provide a few tidbits about the artist, in particular, if it’s a new or an up-and-coming artist. It all begins at Noon every Monday.

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