Mike Melillo is an excellent modern jazz pianist who would be much better known in the jazz world had he not relocated to Italy. After attending Rutgers, Melillo led the house trio at the Tap Room in Clifton, New Jersey, where he had an opportunity to work with many top jazz musicians. He was part of Sonny Rollins' band from 1965-1967, co-led a group with guitarist Harry Leahey in 1967, and then concentrated on composition, living on a farm in New Jersey and, starting in 1973, the Poconos. Melillo began working with Phil Woods later that year and became a member of Woods' quartet and quintet, playing regularly with the altoist until Melillo went solo in 1980. Two years later he moved to Italy, where he worked regularly as a leader, although outside of the jazz spotlight. After a headlining hiatus dating back to 1988's Recycle, Melillo finally resurfaced in 1995 with Alternate Changes for Bud; Bopcentric followed two years later.