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...

275

Frank Macchia: Landscapes

By

Sign in to view read count
Tenor saxophonist/composer/arranger Frank Macchia has made a significant album that follows-up his Grammy-nominated Emotions (Cacophony, 2006). Again utilizing the strings of the Prague Orchestra under the direction of Adam Klemens, Macchia has submitted another ambitious work to the public.

Listening to Landscapes, the two things that come to mind are film scoring and the influences of Aaron Copland and Gil Evans. In the liner notes, Macchia reports that in preparation and inspiration for this album, he listened to Keith Jarrett/Jan Garbarek's Luminessence (ECM, 1975)and Stan Getz's Focus session (Verve, 1962) with the Eddie Sauter Strings. While Macchia is featured on every track for both melody and solo performances on tenor, he sounds unlike Getz and probably closer to Garbarek, with a darker and slightly rough-edged tone.

The centerpiece of the album is the six part "Landscapes Suite - for Saxophone & Orchestra." Each of the sections reflects a different part of the world and shows Macchia's skill at weaving melody with the artful use of orchestration and strings. While "Desert Heat" has an almost majestic movie music realization of, perhaps, the Sahara Desert, "River Rapids" uses a harp and strings to simulate the movement of fast moving water. Even though "Jungle Life" is not a domestic reference, there is a specific Aaron Copland influence in the melody statement.

The suite is book-ended by an opening and closing presentation of six Americana songs from public domain and, in one case, the Great American Songbook. It's almost impossible to draw a connective line between Lawler/Blake's "The Sidewalks of New York," presented as a jaunty movie-type theme, the traditional "Shenandoah," a soaring bit of Americana, and the down-tempo traditional tune "Down In the Valley." Instead, they provide a setup for what is to come within the body of "The Landscape Suite."

Equally, the closing songs defy rationalization. The traditional hymn, "Deep River," is presented reverentially, as expected. V. Rose's standard, "Avalon," is given a short, swinging ride and is the closest thing to a jazz treatment on the album. Finally, Creamer/Layton's "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans" is presented in a tempo usually reserved for the Alter/DeLange favorite "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?" Shades of post-Katrina New Orleans; is this a protest song or merely a way of keeping us off-balance? Whatever the case, it does work and puts a specific stamp on Macchia's style of arrangement.


Track Listing: The Sidewalks of New York; Shenandoah; Down In The Valley; Landscapes Suite - for Saxophone & Orchestra: I.Golden Fields, II.Desert Heat, III.River Rapids, IV.Arctic Chill, V.Jungle Life, VI.Forest Twilight; Deep River; Avalon; Way Down Yonder In New Orleans.

Personnel: Frank Macchia: composer, tenor saxophone; The Prague Orchestra: Adam Klemens: conductor; orchestra personnel unlisted.

Title: Landscapes | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Cacophony

Tags

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