172

Frank Macchia: Emotions

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Frank Macchia: Emotions Jazz meets the symphony on this ambitious enterprise by composer/arranger/saxophonist Frank Macchia and the Prague Orchestra, the inspiration for which was Stan Getz's album, Focus (Verve, 1961) which Macchia, now in his mid-forties, first heard more than thirty years ago.

The centerpiece is Macchia's four-movement suite for saxophone and strings, Emotions, whose sections represent anger, hope, sorrow and joy. The string orchestra, conducted by Adam Klemens, is divided into six stands of violins, three on the left, three on the right, with nine violas on the left, nine celli on the right, and four basses in the center. It is largely up to Macchia to depict the various "emotions through his horn, which he does quite nicely, while the strings provide a scenic backdrop, as did Eddie Sauter's orchestrations for Getz on Focus.

Tracy London's wordless soprano is heard to good advantage on the supernal "Prayer for the Earth, on which Macchia plays bass flutes and synthesizers. I'm not sure whether the orchestra is present on this track, but suspect not, as it was recorded separately from the others, and that could be the synthesizers emulating a full orchestra (sans strings, as I could hear none). Macchia composed every number save two, the folk song "Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair and the spiritual "Lonesome Road.

While everything is stylishly performed, be advised that this is by no means a standard "big band album. Tempos are slow to moderate, the orchestra is string-laden, and even though Macchia does improvise, it is always in that context. That's not say he isn't an excellent player—he is, sounding almost Getzian at times, especially on the last tracks, "Bluesentella (a blend of blues and tarantella) and "Elegy. But in the end, this is an extended symphonic work with jazz overtones. Keeping that in mind, one may find substantial pleasure therein.


Track Listing: Black Is the Color of My True Loves Hair; Emotions (Suite for Saxophone and Strings): Anger; Hope; Sorrow; Joy. Prayer for Earth; Hide and Seek; The Lonesome Road; Dark Corners; Bluesentella; Elegy.

Personnel: Frank Macchia: composer, arranger, tenor sax, bass flute, synthesizer, with the Prague Orchestra conducted by Adam Klemens. Tracy London: voice (6); Aaron Smith: tambourine, percussion (11); other personnel unlisted.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Cacophony | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Sunflower / Goodbye" CD/LP/Track Review Sunflower / Goodbye
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 28, 2016
Read "Times and Tides" CD/LP/Track Review Times and Tides
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 28, 2016
Read "Wild About You" CD/LP/Track Review Wild About You
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 2, 2016
Read "The River" CD/LP/Track Review The River
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 16, 2016
Read "Mac Gollehon & The Hispanic Mechanics" CD/LP/Track Review Mac Gollehon & The Hispanic Mechanics
by Paul Naser
Published: May 2, 2016
Read "Metamorphosis" CD/LP/Track Review Metamorphosis
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 26, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!