MUSICIANS ABOUT MEECO:
"He's certainly a unique personal strong voice in music."
“His skills at bringing cats together and making it happen, he’s a pro at it.”
“He’s in an upward spiral, and his creativity will keep him going in that direction.”
“As far as I am concerned he has captured the essence of beauty.”
"He has his own way to write music and his own sound. It's a real pleasure to play his music."
“His music is different and unique, and he knows what he wants.”
“Meeco has a very particular way of composing and I identify myself very much with his music.”
“His music is not your average run in the middle stuff.”
"His melodies are alive and beautiful."
REVIEWS OF "SOUVENIRS OF LOVE" (2015)
THE WORLD MUSIC REPORT / Raul da Gama:
If you thought that Meeco’s extraordinary music was inspired by the tender imagery of moving pictures then you would not be wrong. The writer of the music in Souvenirs of Love is a dyed-in-the-wool romantic and he shows much love for this aspect of his compositions without guile. This is more than merely entertaining. In an era when most music can be an assault on the senses, Meeco’s music is like a gentle touch, a caress sliding off the cheek. It feels almost physical in the sensuousness of lips on lips, of bodies gliding into contact with one another. It is unabashedly so because Meeco makes no apologies for his utterly romantic side. As is his wont, he has brought together an awe-inspiring roster of artists to bring his romantic vision to fruition. This together with extraordinarily well-written work makes this album very possibly his finest work to date. Meeco may not be a musician who takes many risks with pushing the envelope, but he certainly thrives within his comfort zone. He is also a master of production, bringing together musicians, who may not necessarily have worked together, but who seem to connect on many levels: musically, with like-minded virtuoso expression and emotionally—something that forms a subliminal bond that glues the music and the musicians together. The extraordinary relationship between Talib Kweli and Wallace Roney, and Vincent Herring on “Times Have Changed” is a stunningly beautiful example of this. This exquisite melding of voices continues further in “If Only I Knew” when Jean Baylor and Eddie Henderson—a mostly forgotten master of the trumpet—get together. As usual the great bassist Buster Williams celebrates it all with the warmth and authority of his playing. “Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind” is another masterful chart. It gives credence to the idea that Meeco is not simply a composer of good music, but also one who honors music historically by the work he has produced especially with the soulful chart just mentioned. None of this would have been possible if Meeco were not supremely talented not simply because he has an uncanny instinct for picking the right musicians to realise his dreams, but for finding that exquisite balance in his music. He understands each of the instruments he works with and while he may not push the envelope he is a master of colour and texture. Meeco also makes the timbre of every instrument in his armory come magically alive. All of this goes to produce music that is singular and most alluring. The instrumental charts on this album make for an interesting study on Meeco’s wonderful talent as much as the ones with vocals as the composer always finds powerful ways to use the human voice. Souvenirs of Love will remain one of Meeco’s strongest albums to date. And here’s why: the album puts all of his strengths on display. The music that results from this is breathtaking and gives you a fulsome feeling. Of course there is also the fact that you never listen to a Meeco album and come away feeling that you’ve heard it all: you always come away hoping for more; on Souvenirs of Love you certainly get your wish.
Full review here: http://theworldmusicreport.com/2015/03/05/reviews/cd-reviews/meeco-souvenirs-of-love/
MIDWEST RECORD / Chris Spector:
Once upon a time, labels actually encouraged musos to make artistic statements that cut through everything and across all lines that may or may not be appreciated in their own time. Didn't happen that often of course. This artsy statement is a throwback to those times. If someone gave you a blank check and said spare no expense on making that best jazz/art statement you can, the first thing you'd flop at is assembling the line up of first call jazz/soul/R&B hitters that Meeco has pulled together. A killer, mature, after hours record in the vein of the 50s Sinatra classics, you'll really get this in the wee small hours of the morning when your lover is gone and you need one for the road. You ought to pick this up just for the guest list to hear how Meeco has them working sublimely out of what you thought were their comfort zones. Killer stuff.
Full review here: http://midwestrecord.com/MWR927.html
ALL ABOUT JAZZ / Edward Blanco:
Not a conservative musician by any stretch, Meeco is used to doing things big, out of the norm and striking a new approach. On this venture, Meeco does it again designing a musical statement with new innovations. Here, he presents the music through the prism of jazz using an all-star list of jazz and soul musicians to document, what is, essentially, a classic R&B vocals recording. The opening title track sets the stage for what's to come with Mary Stallings on the narration and Vincent Herring laying down a beautiful alto saxophone solo defining the mood and the texture of the tune as pianist Eric Reed and bassist Buster Williams round out the stellar cast. Soul singer Dana Nicole Williams, known professionally as Yahzarah, is featured often on the array of vocal pieces found on this album. The hip-hop sound comes plainly through on "Times Have Changed" featuring Talib Kweli on lead vocals which also highlights trumpeter Wallace Roney, Victor Lewis on the drums and DJ Stylewarz on effects. The R&B sound is quite alive on many tunes such as on "Can't Get You Out of My Mind," and on "If Only I Knew" featuring vocalists Jean Baylor and Marcus Baylor with superb muted trumpet solos from Eddie Henderson. There are many highlights on this love journey from Meeco and one such song is "Paris At Night" with Jean Baylor on vocals Herring on soprano and the great Stefon Harris on the vibes. Another beautiful love song not to miss is "Words of Love" featuring Yahzarah on lead vocals the guitar icon John Scofield and Richard Bona on electric bass. With an original eleven-song repertoire and an additional five bonus tracks presenting instrumental versions of several of the original vocal pieces, Meeco's highly entertaining Souvenirs of Love showcases the best of light R&B and jazz-tinged love ballads in a gorgeous album that speaks to the heart. This is indeed a special album that brings together luminaries of jazz with a new generation of stars on the same stage in a unique format that works quite well, well done!
Full review here: http://www.allaboutjazz.com/souvenirs-of-love-meeco-challenge-records-review-by-edward-blanco.php
GINA LOVES JAZZ / Matthias KIrsch:
Meeco delivers first highlight of the year with "Souvenirs of love"
Producer and composer Meeco has been under the radar more or less – but not in jazz and soul musician circles. Just a quick look at the line-up of the new record tells you why he is a respected producer and artist. (...) The album starts with a haunting track with spoken words by Mary Stallings who is heard here in a very unusual setting since on her own records she is more of the laid-back, svelte and sultry jazz singer. Stallings’ vocal is set up in a late-night jazz club atmosphere with stellar accompaniment by Vincent Herring, Eric Reed, and Buster Williams. Singer Yahzarah who used to sing back-up vocals for Erykah Badu and has recorded several albums under her own name, is the lead vocalist for “Make My Dreams Come True” which could clearly become a chart-topping swayer and which also has some star-studded guests like John Scofield and Richard Bona. One of the nice surprises is the vocalist Aaron Marcellus who can be heard on the beautiful R’n’B ballad “Every Day” together with soul stylist Jean Baylor, saxophonist Kirk Whalum, or Shedrick Mitchell on Rhodes and organ. (...) The fact that Meeco is using these Jazz masters on a more soul-inspired album speaks for the man and his taste and resume. (...) Baylor is heard again on the gracious “If Only I Knew”, my current favorite. And those favorites can change every day let me tell you! This particular track has a beautiful solo by trumpet hero Eddie Henderson and also features the rhythm section of Reed, Williams, Lewis. Wait a minute my current favorite is the duet vocal in “Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind” with Marcellus and Yahzarah. This is top quality indie soul material with a sexy production and superb background vocals together with little Rhodes tinkling here and there by Mitchell. (...) Robert Glasper‘s vocoder genius Casey Benjamin (leaving his sax at home for this track) is featured on “Your Eyes” which is a shuffling groover out of the best CTI or Kudu records period of the mid 70s. There is a return to form here by flutist Hubert Laws! Lionel Loueke adds spicy guitar licks to this irresistible piece. Scofield returns on another hypnotic soul anthem sung by the incredible Yahzarah (“Words Of Love”) which is destined to become a future classic. It’s that good! And currently my favorite here. (Yes, another). (...) This formidable album closes with “Farewell”, a wonderful instrumental which reminds me of the best Antonio Carlos Jobim recordings of the mid 70s. It is a track of rare beauty with poignant musical delivery by Hubert Laws on alto flute, Eric Reed on piano, and Jaques Morelenbaum on cello. Pure magic.
Full review here: http://ginalovesjazz.com/meeco-delivers-first-highlight-of-the-year-with-souvenirs-of-love/
ALL ABOUT JAZZ / Dan Bilawsky:
Meeco doesn't skimp on star power when he puts a record together. The personnel listings from his previous projects—Amargo Mel (Connector Records, 2009), Perfume E Caricias (Connector Records, 2010), and Beauty Of The Night (Connector Records, 2012)—read like the invite list for the NEA Jazz Masters Awards Ceremony: Jazz elders—bassists Ron Carter and Buster Williams, flautist Hubert Laws, trumpeter Eddie Henderson, saxophonist Benny Golson, and pianist Kenny Barron, to name a few—joined in at one time or another, and younger leading lights—vibraphonist Stefon Harris, guitarist Lionel Loueke, and vocalist Gregory Porter—added their two cents. Now, with his fourth record, the producer / composer / conceptualist delivers another star-studded affair that's similar to his previous work in many ways, yet divergent in some respects. Souvenirs Of Love is every bit as nostalgia-filled, starry-eyed, and romantically-inclined as its predecessors, but the style of delivery has shifted. The distinctly noirish vibe that Meeco projected through his last two albums has now been mutated: Mellow soul, hip hop, gospel, and R&B influences are part of the musical DNA of this one. (...) More often than not, Meeco's music is mood music that's shaped around the vocals, but that doesn't mean the instrumentalists don't have a chance to shine. Many of the aforementioned players, along with trumpeter Wallace Roney, saxophonist Kirk Whalum, and several others, have the opportunity to spread their wings a bit and fly at one time or another on the well-crafted Souvenirs Of Love.
Full review here: http://www.allaboutjazz.com/index_new.php?url=souvenirs-of-love-meeco-double-moon-records-review-by-dan-bilawsky.php
BLUES & SOUL MAGAZINE UK / Simon Redley
Pianist, composer and producer Meeco has hit pay dirt with his latest album "Souvenirs Of Love". (…) His fourth album effortlessly mixes jazz improvisation, modern soul, hip hop and pop. A collection of eleven songs that tell stories from his life, and feature a real Who’s Who of jazz and soul star guests, including John Scofield, Wallace Roney, Lionel Loueke, Hubert Laws and soul singer Yahzarah. Conscious-rapper Talib Kweli can be heard on the stand out piece "Times Have Changed", as well as DJ Stylewarz, one of the most influential hip hop DJs in Germany. (…) It is a neat thing to have major league jazz artists and players on what is essentially an R&B album. It gives this record an edge. (…) The new CD starts as it means to go on, no boundaries and a totally natural and relaxed vibe. Vocalist Mary Stallings is the first voice we hear; spoken word sat on top of Vincent Herring’s sweet alto sax. setting the scene and the tone of the entire album. Soul singer Yahzarah, aka Dana Nicole Williams, pops up on many of the vocal tracks here and does a fine job, as do Jean and Michael Baylor on “If Only I Knew.” (...) Toots Hibbert and his Maytals told us “Reggae got soul.” Well here, jazz got soul, and lots of it too. Lovely stuff from a big talent who we will see and hear a lot more from in the coming years, even well outside of jazz circles, I am pretty sure of that.
Full review here:
MARLBANK / Stephen Graham
With artwork full of tickets and old postmarks it’s a journey through time, souvenirs of love as the lyric has it. (...) Meeco – a pianist, composer and producer has written the words and music to the majority of the material assembling a strong cast of players: John Scofield and Richard Bona for instance on the emotive anthem ‘May My Dreams Come True’; singer Jean Baylor and saxophonist Kirk Whalum on ‘Every Day’ when the album takes a smooth jazz direction; rapper Talib Kweli who features on the new David Lyttle album ‘Faces’ is on ‘Times Have Changed’ which again has a strong band of players including trumpeter Wallace Roney and Herring again, Roney burning against the rap. (...) Baylor is again a featured singer on ‘If Only I Knew’ on which Eddie Henderson also appears in the band. The artwork is a real treat with cleverly presented representations of the lyrics framed by old letters, postcards and photographs. Yahzarah, a backing singer for Erykah Badu, returns on ‘Can’t Get You Out of My Mind’, again a bit on the smooth side, and vibes star Stefon Harris joins Baylor and the band on ‘Paris at Night’ which again has that nostalgic atmosphere the album does so well. Casey Benjamin of the Robert Glasper Experiment adds vocoderised vocals on the cosmic ‘Your Eyes’ that also includes guitarist Lionel Loueke and flautist Hubert Laws among other luminaries. Scofield’s best bits probably come at the beginning of ‘Words of Love’ another song featuring Yahzarah who is also on the very slow ‘For You’ where again Herring weaves a spell. Laws joins Eric Reed and celebrated Brazilian cellist Jaques Morelenbaum on ‘Farewell,’ which is very pretty. The album also includes a few remixes and instrumental versions of ‘Paris at Night’ and ‘Your Eyes’. (...) There are a few songs that are quite special and linger. The smoother tracks don’t do a lot for me but it’s an album worth taking a risk on particularly if your tastes run from jazz into soul.
Full review here: http://www.marlbank.net/reviews/2524-meeco-souvenirs-of-love-double-moon-records-1-2
SOULANDJAZZANDFUNK.COM / Bill Buckley
'Souvenirs Of Love' is the fourth album of Paris-based pianist, composer and producer Meeco and, with the assistance of a guest list of Cecil B De Mille proportions, the menu offers eleven tracks which mix jazz, hip-hop and soul. So let's start with the soul tunes.... of which there are plenty. The clear highlight is a great Quiet Storm moment called 'Every Day'. This is a sensual vocal duet between Aaron Marcellus and Jean Baylor (who some of you will remember as one half of Zhane). The pair blend effortlessly and the lazy, languid feeling is enhanced by Kirk Whalum's weaving sax lines. Ms Baylor's there too on the more melancholic 'If Only I Knew' which features some lovely muted horn from Eddie Henderson and pleasing old school Hammond courtesy of Shedrick Mitchell. 'Can't Get You Out Of My Mind' is another soulful ballad and another duet. On this one the vocalists are Aaron Marcellus and Yahzarah (Dana Nicole Williams) - a long time Erykah Badu back-up singer. You can feel that Badu influence on 'Make My Dreams Come True' – a meandering neo-soul affair with Yahzarah up front again. Elsewhere, the album's title cut is a spoken word piece with an atmospheric, cinematic backdrop and that cinematic feel is extended on 'Paris By Night' on which Ms Baylor shows she can "do jazz" as effortlessly as she can "do soul".... very Carmen Lundy, this one and some great vibes too from Stefon Harris while Buster Williams' bass ties it all down. 'Farewell' –led by Hubert Laws' flute - is the instrumental, ballad set piece while 'Your Eyes' and 'Times Have Changed' allow Meeco to experiment. The former features some strange vocoder effects while the latter features rapper Talib Kweli. The eleven track album is enhanced by five "bonus" cuts.... three are instrumental versions of 'Paris At Night', 'Your Eyes' and 'Times Have Changed'; two are Aiko Rohd remixes ('If Only I Knew' and 'Every Day') and of the two, the tweak of the aforementioned 'If Only I Knew' is excellent. Sophisticated modern soulsters could do worse than investigate.
Full review here: http://www.soulandjazzandfunk.com/reviews/3253-meeco-souvenirs-of-love-challengedouble-moon.html
SOULTRACKS.COM / L. Michael Gipson
Everything about the sparkling fourth album by Parisian pianist, composer, and producer Meeco feels top drawer. The trick is to be refined and sophisticated in this musically rarefied air without dissolving into a sickly sweet port of overly sentimental tastes. To call Meeco’s highly curated single-producer compilation rhapsodically romantic is not to put too fine a point on it; the candlelight and swoons are built into this transport to this fragile fantasy world. Souvenirs of Love is at its best when there’s an ache or a modern edge to be found in the song. Often Souvenirs of Love roughening elements are ushered in by the guests spots featured throughout Meeco’s collaborative proceeding, such as vocalist Aaron Marcellus on the melodic caress that is “Every Day” or soul star Yahzarah going to a heavier place to deliver the country soul of “Make My Dreams Come True.” Conscious rapper Talib Kweli on his match-up with trumpeter Wallace Roney, saxophonist Vincent Herring, and famed German spinmeister DJ Stylewarez may be one of the best examples of uptown meeting downtown in a rolling groove that conversely pulsates with both street life and elegance. The whispery silken take of Jean Baylor (of Zhané fame) on “If Only I Knew” bridges classic R&B balladry with traditional jazz, thanks to the Eric Reed’s singular piano solo and trumpeter Eddie Henderson’s sinewy sound accompanying Baylor throughout this soul embrace. Romantic duets are coming back in vogue, at least on the independent and international stages, and “Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind” featuring Yahzarah and Aaron Marcellus sits nicely in this trend with a fairly aggressive bridge and emotionally resonating vamp out that keeps the pair from stepping into schmaltz. (...) Similarly, on “Farewell,” Hubert Laws, Jaques Morelenbaum, and Eric Reed illustrate in a violin, piano, and flute composition that would not be out of place as the score for a pedigreed dramatic film up for Academy Award consideration. The fluid song’s studied movements are warm, sincere, and feel deeply personal. In fact, most of Meeco’s emotional work on Souvenirs of Love feels intimate in nature and technically skillful to a fault. How much one comes to love its sometimes melodramatic sharing depends on just how much one can wholly welcome stepping into its embroidered story world of brocade and lace and languishing there, waiting to be ravished for an hour or so by moonlight. Recommended.
Full review here: http://www.soultracks.com/review-meeco-souvenirs-of-love
REVIEWS OF "BEAUTY OF THE NIGHT" (2012)
ALL ABOUT JAZZ / Edward Blanco:
"Paris-based composer/producer Meeco, has never truly delivered a standard jazz album, preferring instead to craft musical projects that are creative, innovative and different from the rest, described as "neither classical nor jazz". A follow-up to Perfume e Caricias (Connector, 2010), Beauty of the Night is Meeco's third disc and his most impressive project to date, certainly qualifying as a non-standard recording. This enchanting recording captures romantic melodies and beautiful love songs on a two-CD set containing nineteen songs performed by an all-star cast of musicians and vocalists. (...) Recorded in New York, Meeco brings together some icons and legends of jazz, each lending their enormous talent and reputation to the production. Among them: flautist Hubert Laws, trumpeter Eddie Henderson, clarinetist Bennie Maupin, bassist great Buster Williams, drummer Victor Lewis and vocalist Freddy Cole. The material on the album is all new, each song possessing some romantic mood yet remaining individually distinct, with the second CD—a remix disc by brothers Marco and Robert Meister—adding a slight fusion texture to some of the songs. (...) The warm romantic melodies of Meeco's compositions reveal his affinity for love songs and the lighter side of jazz superbly captured on Beauty of the Night , an album designed for lovers."
Full review here: http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=41474
ALL ABOUT JAZZ / Chris May:
“Anyone unfamiliar with Paris-based composer/producer Meeco and his gorgeous, sophisticated jazz can get approximate bearings from two other artists. One is Antônio Carlos Jobim, partly for the influence of bossa nova on Meeco's writing, partly for the heart-on-sleeve romanticism his songwriting shares with Jobim. The second is Astrud Gilberto, who is suggested by the Brazilian vocalist Eloisia, Meeco's regular collaborator. That said, Meeco is more jazz centered than either of those bossa stylists. (...) As on the earlier albums, the music has a retro vibe evoking the early jet age's glamorous conflation of Rio, Rome and the Côte d'Azur—something the albeit fleeting presence on the new album of chanteuse Jane Birkin does nothing to diminish. But it is more than retro. Classicist is a better description. Pianist Ahmad Jamal calls the music he makes not "jazz," but "American classical music." South American and European provenances notwithstanding, the description lends itself to Beauty of the Night : well crafted songs, elegantly arranged and performed with intelligence and virtuosity. Meeco assembled illustrious lineups for both his earlier discs, and did so again for Beauty of the Night . (...) The CD release of Beauty of the night includes a second disc of remixes by brothers Marco and Robert Meister. Synths, both pumping and ambient, are to the fore; house and chillout beats replace free-flowing jazz and bossa rhythms. Rather surprisingly, it works. The music retains its essence, and, while the original instrumentalists are pretty much mixed out in favor of the Meisters' synths, Eloisia and the other singers remain centerstage. A beautifully conceived and realized album. Play it and be seduced."
Full review here: http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=41391
ALL ABOUT JAZZ / Dan Bilawsky:
"While danger, intrigue and excitement are often born beneath a silvery moon, love, loss and regret seem to come first to Meeco's mind when his thoughts turn to the night. The Paris-based composer/producer gathered what can only be described as a dream team of jazz's crème de la crème to help him bring life to eight of his sensitive compositions on this, his third album. The concept behind Meeco's music, which deals in whispering, pensive Euro-Brazilian sounds, has been fairly consistent from record to record, but the execution has gotten better with each release. While Meeco mixes and matches his world class cast members, placing each musician in the right setting, he wisely keeps some constants. Bassist Buster Williams, drummer Victor Lewis and pianist Kenny Barron are at the heart of nearly every song, helping to create music that envelops and seduces (...). Morelenbaum provides cello arrangements that thicken the group sound and/or shadow the vocalists without any sense of intrusiveness and Hubert Laws' alto flute, likewise, enhances the overall warmth found within the music. While Eloisia's vocals tie the seven vocal numbers together, a long list of guest singers, given an appearance a piece, help to embed different emotions within individual tracks. Freddy Cole's voice resonates deeply and Lionel Loueke is disarming with his unique, unpretentious delivery. Ze Manoel's singing blends best with Eloisia's voice (...). A second CD takes Meeco's work out of the night time air and into the night club, as Marco and Robert Meister deliver eleven remixes that are alternately suitable for the dance floor or a mellow, back room environment. (...) The eight performances on disc one properly frame the beauty of the night, as they come together to form a single, misty masterpiece."
Full review here: http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=41542
NY DAILY NEWS / Greg Thomas:
"Paris-based producer-composer Meeco loves to employ top jazz musicians and fine vocalists to bring his musical vision to life. Seeding that vision, on this recording, are degrees of emotion — from delightful ecstasy and sweet embrace surrounding love, to sadness and silence regarding love lost or unrequited. His musical muse, Brazilian vocalist Eloisia — the author of most of the lyrics — is joined by Ze Manoel on “Amor e Encantos” (Love and Delights), and they evoke soul mates. Freddy Cole and Gregory Porter, both excellent vocalists, don’t jibe as readily with her, but considering the titles of their tunes (respectively, “Tears of Farewell” and “In the Depth of Your Silence”), perhaps that’s meant. That excuse doesn’t hold up, however, when listening to Joe Bataan and Eloisia on “Sad Guy.” Bataan goes to the edge of a pleading inquiry, but pulls back just enough to maintain dignity, a feat which Bennie Maupin, on bass clarinet, and Stefon Harris, on vibes, achieve too. Benny Golson, Hubert Laws, Eddie Henderson, Victor Lewis, Romero Lubambo, Kenny Barron, Buster Williams and Jaques Morelenbaum all play with sensitivity throughout Meeco’s musical labor of love. A second CD remixes the songs and would fit well in dance clubs playing techno funk. I prefer the first, as the singing and mood of the original conception touches me emotionally and may reach you too."
Full review here: http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/jazz-record-reviews-mary-stallings-back-meeco-beauty-night-vijay-iyer-trio-accelerando-article-1.1072673?localLinksEnabled=false
LATIN JAZZ NETWORK / Raul d'Gama Rose:
"The extraordinary songwriter and producer, Meeco’s new album, Beauty Of The Night comes with a hidden cautionary note which is not visible or audible until the first strains of the music is heard: It is an elementally sad album and a box of Kleenex may be de rigueur. However, this is not to say that the album is not beautiful. After all, in immense sadness there is beauty as well. (...) There is also the presence of the Jacques Morelenbaum, a great Brazilian cellist and master of the musical arts in the realm of classical and Brazilian folk, Musica Popular Brasiliera and, of course the idiom of jazz. (…) His mournful wailing is one of the most beautiful aspects of this recording. (…) The alto flute - not merely a flute, or even a concert flute - but an alto flute is played by the magnificent Hubert Laws, who is a stellar member of this cast that includes the likes of bassist Buster Williams, saxophonist, Benny Golson, bass clarinetist, Bennie Maupin, guitarists Lionel Loueke and Romero Lubambo among others. Maupin’s deep-throated growl adds gravitas to the melancholy of this album. Perhaps the most unusual aspect of the music on the album from end to end is the daring manner in which Meeco paces the music. The elegiac music has been slowed down—as has the balladry—to such an extent that the ache and longing of the spirit is palpable, like a sword piercing through the heart. This is courageous on the part of the composer and producer. The dirge-like quality of some of the music recalls the aspect that aspect of a requiem that makes it unique to music. That most of it has been written after the composer's mother passed on gives it an element of reality that can almost be touched as much as it is felt."
Full review here: http://latinjazznet.com/2012/02/27/reviews/cds/meeco-beauty-of-the-night/
REVIEWS OF "Perfume e Caricias" (2010)
ALL ABOUT JAZZ / Dan Bilawsky:
“Everything about the music of Meeco speaks of subtlety, seduction and mood, from the cover art—with vocalist-lyricist Eloisia embracing him in what can only be described as a Calvin Klein advertisement- type pose—to the title itself, which is Portuguese for "Perfume and Caresses." (...) Meeco—who wrote the music and produced the album, but doesn't perform here— assembled an all-star cast for this session. Pianist Kenny Barron , bassist Buster Williams and trumpeter Eddie Henderson constitute the core group, and woodwind wonders Vincent Herring and James Moody add some finishing touches to a few tracks. Each member of the core group plays a crucial role in setting the stage. Henderson adds some nocturnal allure to the music, and his hushed solos have a Miles Davis -like intensity, though delivered in a distant fashion. Barron and Williams often maintain a symbiotic relationship, with the title track being the best example of their beneficial coexistence. This pair has the rare ability to be both cohesive and flexible at the same time; in addition, Williams proves to be an architect of the first order, as he creates and shapes his lines, which add to the music's weight and direction. All of this material is performed at a relaxed pace, and Barron is a master of space and touch in everything he does. Eloisia's whisper-soft vocals—sung in Portuguese—melt like butter. No words are wasted and everything remains on the softer side. While the majority of these pieces have a slightly haunting and reflective quality in the performances, each track has something different to offer. (...) The songs on this album, like caresses themselves, are intimate moments to be savored.”
Full review here: http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=37587
ALL ABOUT JAZZ / Edward Blanco:
“Portuguese for "Perfume and Caresses," Perfume e Caricias offers a relaxing and tender musical experience, perfect for those who appreciate the lighter side of jazz. (...) Recorded in 2009 in New York City, Meeco brings together a cast of jazz luminaries: Piano great Kenny Barron accompanies legendary bassist Buster Williams in a rhythm section devoid of drums. Eddie Henderson appears on the trumpet and flugelhorn, while tenor saxophonist giant James Moody lends his talents with flute on the light and sensuous "Passaro Azul," while Vincent Herring provides an alto saxophone voice on three pieces. (...) The album is a jazz vocals production, with Eloisia's soft-spoken voice caressing the Portuguese lyrics of each song. (...) Barron is magnificent throughout, as Williams' bass work holds the group together with his background role. Henderson's horn phrases are crisp and fluid, while both Moody and Herring contribute minor but important elements to the songs on which they perform.”
Full review here: http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=37834
REVIEWS OF "Amargo Mel"
ALL ABOUT JAZZ / Raul d'Gama Rose:
“Meeco is a rather young musician who appears drawn not simply to the musical idioms of jazz, popular music and a myriad of those in the Latin tradition; he also set out to do what musicians of his age seldom attempt: he's made a troubadour record. Amargo Mel is a very difficult project to pull off, even with a stellar cast including pianist Reggie Moore, bassist Ron Carter , trumpeter/flugelhornist Eddie Henderson , the late tenor saxophonist David "Fathead" Newman , altoist Charlie Mariano and trumpeter Mario Morejon, among a host of others. (...) And there appears to be a seemingly unending source of lyrical material here. To showcase it are several vocalists who have collaborated with Meeco to provide both the lyrics and vocals: Eva Ventura from Spain, Olivido Ruiz from Cuba, Rolando Faria, and Eloisia from Brazil. They are all fine vocalists, who show great sensitivity for the material they sing. Eva Ventura casts the songs she sings with an otherworldly atmosphere and she is expert at phrasing as well. Her delivery is sensuous and breathy, with "Nocturna" and "Para Siempre a mi Lado" fine examples of her work here. Eloisa's contralto is also quite beautiful and memorable, but it is Rolanda Faria who is the record's outstanding vocalist. He is able to tell a story, vary his tone ever so slightly on "Nao Chora Nao," where he literally cries out the song and pierces the heart. On the moody, existentialist-sounding "Neste Mundo," Faria, in a classic baritone—alternately exquisitely noir and star bright—turns the lyric into a black and white, dark and bright narrative reminiscent of the great Brazilian Dori Caymmi. Faria then returns for a memorable three-way interplay with Henderson on hauntingly beautiful Harmon muted trumpet and Carter, who executes a bass line with stabbing, probing precision. The instrumentalists provide great atmospherics as well. The classical music-oriented David Friedman does a positively symphonic reading of the score on "Neste Mundo" and Hubert Laws plays a haunting alto flute that weaves in and out of Friedman's vibes and also Pepe Berns' pedal point bass. Henderson provides the most sensuous moments on "Noitas Vazais" and then returns to score a fine interplay with Newman, who both swing through the rhythms of Rolo Rodriguez's percussion and Olivida Ruiz's mesmerizing vocals. The record is an accomplished work, comprising some of the most romantic charts that ought to haunt the waves of jazz and Latin radio stations for a long time to come. As a first record this is music of considerable character and maturity. Meeco has a fine grasp of idiom and phrasing, and also a singular feel for writing material sensitive to tone and color.”
Full review here: http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=32979