Frank Macchia – Landscapes – Cacophony Inc.

by | Dec 28, 2007 | Jazz CD Reviews | 0 comments

Frank Macchia – Landscapes – Cacophony Inc. FMC512 [],  60:18 ***** [release date: Jan. 15, 2008]:

(Frank Macchia, tenor sax; The Prague Orchestra/Adam Klemens, cond.)

Frank is an LA-based composer/arranger/saxist whose previous CD Emotions got a Grammy nomination earlier this year. That album for sax and strings was compared to Stan Getz’s classic Focus as well as Gil Evans and Pat Metheny.  In addition to tenor sax, Macchia also is heard on bass flute, ethnic winds and synthesizers.  He has composed and orchestrated many film and TV shows, and has worked with Van Dyke Parks, Ella Fitzgerald, Brian Wilson and Clare Fisher.

At the center of this dozen-track album is Macchia’s Landscapes Suite for sax and orchestra, consisting of six picturesque movements.  Each one strives to create a different mental picture in keeping with its title. River Rapids, for example, depicts with strong forward thrust thru all 12 keys the churning, white water rapids.  Three traditional tunes are given the Macchia treatment in the album. His arrangement of Shenandoah – long one of my personal favorite folk tunes – is one of the most satisfying I have every heard. Down in the Valley and Deep River receive similar highly individual treatments. The musician’s idea of combining these traditional folk songs with orchestra plus improvisation is a fresh and most enjoyable effort. Since Getz’s Focus is my favorite all-around jazz album, Landscapes will surely get a lot of playing in future.

TrackList: The Sidewalks of New York; Shenandoah, Down in the Valley, Landscapes Suite: Golden Field, Desert Heat, River Rapids, Arctic Chill, Jungle Life, Forest Twilight; Deep River; Avalon; Way Down Yonder in New Orleans.

– John Henry

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