Artwork: Cécile McLorin Salvant
On her first jazz quartet album Visions, award-winning saxophonist Melissa Aldana connects her work to the legacy of Latina artists who have come before her, creating a pathway for her own expression. Inspired by the life and works of Frida Kahlo, Aldana creates a parallel between her experiences as a female saxophone player in a male-dominated community, and Kahlo’s experiences as a female visual artist working to assert herself in a landscape dominated by men. On her first jazz quartet recording, Aldana adds a new dimension to her sound, resulting in a transformative movement of expression and self-identity.
Melissa Aldana: tenor saxophone / Sam Harris: piano, rhodes / Pablo Menares: bass / Tommy Crane: drums / Joel Ross: vibraphone
The award-winning Motéma label, now in its 20th year, specializes in culturally trenchant and soul jazz, soul-jazz, world, and other creative and expansive music. Motéma has been praised by All About Jazz as “One of the most important labels to plant its flag in the 21st Century.” Respected internationally as an ‘art-first’ tastemaker, Motéma’s diverse catalog spans genres, cultures, and generations and has received GRAMMY ® recognition for over twenty-five albums in jazz, Latin-jazz, reggae, and R&B. Founded by label president and recording artist Jana Herzen, Motéma operates out of San Francisco and New York City where the label keeps a close eye on current musical trends. It was Motéma that first brought soul/jazz superstar Gregory Porter to international acclaim with his GRAMMY® nominated debut recordings, Water and Be Good as well as his hit songs 1960 What? and Real Good Hands. The label is also noted for launching international careers for the young piano star Joey Alexander, saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin, modern soul singer Deva Mahal, and Cuban music innovator Pedrito Martinez among others. Also in the label’s catalog are recordings by established jazz icons such as Randy Weston, Geri Allen, David Murray, Monty Alexander and Charnett Moffett alongside releases by exciting leaders in contemporary jazz innovation including Melissa Aldana, Donny McCaslin, Mark Guiliana, Ben Wendel, Jaimeo Brown’s Transcendence.