"Tree of Life is a wildly imaginative, expertly played recording; Mela and Cuban Safari illustrate that the future of jazz is indeed now."  -All Music Guide

"Mela's music encompasses everything that he has encountered, making the Tree Of Life a sonic safari through the worldwide wilds of jazz and beyond." -All About

"Mela’s Tree of Life has many branches and is made of many colors. His excursion into composing with his own ideas is time and talent well spent."
 -Janine Santana,

“It’s Tree of Life’s compositions and performances that really thrill. At times stoking straightahaed flames, other times seemingly aiming for Mwandishi-like fund and fusion." -Downbeat

“In following his muse, Mela crafts a project that branches out while remaining rooted in its core. It’s rare to strike such delicate balance, and in doing so, he’s created pure magic.”  -Lissete Corsa, Jazziz

“To witness the innovative jazz drummer and composer, Francisco Mela, live in action is to stand visually and sonically arrested by his out of this world talent and razor sharp skill born out of a relentless pursuit to elevate his craft. Yes. He’s that good.” -Johnathan Eaglin,

"Mela proves to be a most versatile musician and band leader. With artists like him at the helm the future of modern jazz and fusion is certainly in good hands!"  -Jazz Inside Magazine

"No one in St. Paul last weekend had a bigger smile or bigger heart than drummer Mela...The beats make you want to dance, the energy sufficiently contagious to take you through the night. Which was a good thing, because the best came last, when Mela and some of his bandmates turned up to jam at the Artists Quarter. Somehow the vibe of the after-hours crowd and the heat from pianist Jon Weber’s earlier sets ignited Mela and company to a more free-wheeling act of spontaneous combustion on the AQ stage. And always that smile!" -Jazz Police

"Mela is in the forefront of a progressive post-bop scene that includes collaborators like his sometime boss Joe Lovano, as well as Mark Turner, Jason Moran, et al." -Boston Phoenix

"...the thrum of Afro-Cuan folk music and the thrust of contemporary post-bop, Mr. Mela is a bandleader on the rise..." -Nate Chinen, The New York Times

“Today Francisco Mela is one of the most important Cuban's drummer in jazz” -Jazz Times