185

Mace Francis Orchestra: Introducing the Mace Francis Orchestra

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Mace Francis Orchestra: Introducing the Mace Francis Orchestra Composer/arranger Mace Francis formed his orchestra three years ago as an outlet for creative music in Western Australia, and this album, in which the twelve-piece ensemble is "introduced, is actually its second. The first, Chinese Whispers, was recorded four months earlier (in August, 2005) as a part of the Jazz Concert Window Series at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Edith Cowan University, Perth.

All of the tunes on Introducing were written by Francis, and they lay bare an explicit fondness for the music of Bob Brookmeyer, Maria Schneider, Gil Evans, Jim McNeely and perhaps Thad Jones, while at the same time giving voice to Francis' own forward-looking concepts. Even as they are thoroughly contemporary, his themes are melodically pleasing and rhythmically strong, with a good deal of their underlying power emanating from the orchestra's hard-working drummer, Greg Brenton.

Francis is at his creative best on "The Preacher Is Broken, cleverly turning Horace Silver's jazz classic inside out by revising harmony and tempo as the orchestra sings his praises, Brenton inflames the congregation, and trumpeter Ricki Malet and tenor Alistair McEvoy deliver their own provocative sermons. Flexible trombonist Catherine Noblet is featured on the tasteful and refreshing "Lemon Water, smooth trumpeter Callum G'Froerer on the placid "Melodian Melody," supple guitarist Johanne Druitt on the chorale-like "Lido Lowdown and pensive "Why A? G'Froerer and Noblet share solo honors on the flag-waving "Say That Again, the only number repeated from the orchestra's earlier album.

Francis has definite goals in mind, and has assembled a first-class ensemble to help him reach them. Based on this introduction, one can't disprove the assumption that you'll be as pleased to meet the Mace Francis Orchestra as I was.


Track Listing: Lemon Water; Lido Lowdown; Melodian Melody; Say That Again; Why A?; The Preacher Is Broken (48:07).

Personnel: Mace Francis: composer, arranger, conductor; Paddy McMullin, Ricki Malet, Callum GFroerer: trumpet; Ben Collins, Dan Thorne, Alistair McEvoy, Mark Sprogowski: reeds; Catherine Noblet, Tilman Robinson: trombone; Johanne Druitt: guitar; Kaspar Noakes: bass; Greg Brenton: drums.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "A Secret Sigh" CD/LP/Track Review A Secret Sigh
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 21, 2016
Read "Kjølvatn" CD/LP/Track Review Kjølvatn
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 25, 2016
Read "Westering Home" CD/LP/Track Review Westering Home
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 7, 2016
Read "Alchemist" CD/LP/Track Review Alchemist
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 1, 2017
Read "Nexus" CD/LP/Track Review Nexus
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: June 1, 2016
Read "Portraits and Places" CD/LP/Track Review Portraits and Places
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 31, 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!