Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

3

Frank Macchia: Grease Mechanix

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
One thing that must be said about Frank Macchia (well, two things, actually)—he's a wild and crazy composer / bandleader whose satchel is always overflowing with splendid musical surprises. On his new album, Grease Mechanix, Macchia goes funky in a New Orleans brass band manner, employing a seventeen-piece ensemble comprised of some of the best sidemen the Los Angeles area has to offer to design such instant jazz classics as "Zombies Ate My Grandma," "Chicken Neck," "I'm So Damn Mad!," "Sweet Patootie Waltz" and "Fatback Bubblebath," to name only a few.

Another well-known maxim is that comedy is serious business, and if Macchia and his comrades customarily play with tongue in cheek, they are no less diligent or attuned to his musical strategy. Macchia envisioned the idea for this enterprise, he writes, "after listening to some New Orleans brass bands and [his] favorite funk bands. The idea was to do a bunch of funk tunes where the tuba and bass sax would supply the bass lines, and rhythm guitar would do the chord component." And so they do, with the tuba, bass sax and guitar in the capable hands of Bill Reichenbach, Jay Mason and Ken Rosser. And speaking of capable hands, drummer Peter Erskine sees to it that the rhythmic component is rock-solid, with ample help from Rosser and percussionist Brad Dutz.

Macchia, who wrote and arranged everything, takes a thunderous contrabass clarinet solo on the shuffling "Squiggles." He also sings (after a fashion) on "Zombies," "Bad Juju," "Fat Cat," "So Damn Mad!" and "Fatback," with Tracy London (and perhaps others) providing background vocals. While almost every tune is upbeat and buoyant, there is one departure in midstream, as Bob Sheppard's expressive tenor sax is showcased on the graceful "Bucket o' Tears." For lyricism, there's the charming "Sweet Patootie Waltz," whose deep-throated solos are by Reichenbach and Mason. And for fireworks, sample Wayne Bergeron's high-flying trumpet on the assertive "Bulldog," or the brassy opener, "Buckin' Bronco."

If you're partial to brass bands, emphatic rhythms, New Orleans-style swing or simply superlative contemporary jazz that embodies all those elements, it doesn't get much better than Macchia and his perceptive, sure-handed Grease Mechanix.

Track Listing: Buckin’ Bronco; Zombies Ate My Grandma; Chicken Neck; Shhhh!; Bad Juju; Fat Cat; Squiggles; I’m So Damn Mad!; Bucket o’ Tears; Atonal Dance Party; Sweet Patootie Waltz; Bulldog; Fatback Bubblebath.

Personnel: Frank Macchia: leader, composer, arranger, tenor sax, baritone sax, clarinet, contrabass clarinet, piccolo, vocals; Wayne Bergeron: trumpet, flugelhorn; Dan Fornero: trumpet, flugelhorn; Walt Fowler: trumpet, flugelhorn; Eric Marienthal: alto sax, flute; Brandon Fields: alto, tenor sax, flute, piccolo; Bob Sheppard: tenor sax, clarinet, bass clarinet; Sal Lozano: baritone sax, clarinet, bass clarinet, piccolo; Jay Mason: bass sax, bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet; Alex Iles: trombone; Kevin Porter: trombone; Craig Gosnell: bass trombone; Bill Reichenbach: tuba; Ken Rosser: electric guitar, banjo, baritone guitar; Peter Erskine: drums; Brad Dutz: percussion; Tracy London: vocals.

Title: Grease Mechanix | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Cacophony

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Piglets Bouncing On A Trampoline

Piglets Bouncing On A Trampoline

Frank Macchia
Rhythm Kaleidoscope

I'm So Damn Mad!

I'm So Damn Mad!

Frank Macchia
Grease Mechanix

Discombobulated

Discombobulated

Frank Macchia
Frank Macchia's Swamp Thang

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Frank Macchia
Son of Folk Songs for Jazzers

I've Been Working on the Railroad

I've Been Working on the Railroad

Frank Macchia
Folk Songs For Jazzers

Air Mail Special

Air Mail Special

Frank Macchia
Saxolollapalooza

Way Down Yonder In New Orleans

Way Down Yonder In New Orleans

Frank Macchia
Landscapes

Album Reviews
What I'm Listening to Now
Take Five With...
Album Reviews
Read more articles

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Infection In The Sentence Album Reviews
Infection In The Sentence
By Chris May
February 18, 2019
Read Real Isn't Real Album Reviews
Real Isn't Real
By Phil Barnes
February 18, 2019
Read Citizen Album Reviews
Citizen
By Roger Farbey
February 18, 2019
Read Rosa Parks: Pure Love. An Oratorio of Seven Songs Album Reviews
Rosa Parks: Pure Love. An Oratorio of Seven Songs
By Doug Hall
February 18, 2019
Read Narrow Escape Album Reviews
Narrow Escape
By Roger Farbey
February 18, 2019
Read The Gleaners Album Reviews
The Gleaners
By Karl Ackermann
February 17, 2019
Read God Is Not A Terrorist Album Reviews
God Is Not A Terrorist
By Chris May
February 17, 2019