By Ivana Ng | Published October 2022
An extended improvisation in two parts, Motions Vol. 1 showcases drummer Francisco Mela’s dynamic movements and young up-and-coming pianist Shinya Lin’s cerebral yet richly textured lines. There’s no doubt Lin was influenced by Mela well before the two even stepped into the studio to record this album. Lin recently graduated from Berklee, where Mela, a mainstay on the Boston jazz scene, currently teaches. In this debut collaboration, Mela and Lin are equally matched and both visionary in their own right.
Mela’s charismatic and uninhibited drums complement Lin’s introspective approach to piano and prepared piano. As a result, the duo’s collaboration is expansive and cinematic in scope. “Part I” begins like a noir film, with dark, languorous beats, industrial sounds on prepared piano and dramatic, punctuated piano notes. Lin’s improvisational style is analytical yet unrestrained. He moves deftly between organic melodies and experimental tone poems, while Mela’s feverish drums give way to sheets of sound and frenetic pulses. Just as they approach entropy, they come to a halt, taking a collective breath before Mela’s guttural vocals call on them to reset and recenter on a more focused and angular improvisation.
The range of textures and motifs that Mela and Lin explore in “Part II’’ is even more diverse. It gradually advances to more muscular uptempo percussion and angular melodies.
Motions Vol. 1: Part I; Part II. (50:27)
Personnel: Shinya Lin, piano, prepared piano; Francisco Mela, drums, voice.
Ordering Info: 577records.com