Frank Macchia: Down in the Valley


Down in the Valley


Frank Macchia (tenor sax)


Landscapes (Cacophony FMC512)

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Frank Macchia (tenor sax),

and the Prague Orchestra


Traditional. Arranged by Frank Macchia. Conducted by Adam Klemens


Recorded: CD released in 2007


Rating: 89/100 (learn more)

Frank Macchia likes the old songs, and I'm not talking about George Gershwin and Cole Porter. I mean the really old songs, like "Shenandoah" and "Sidewalks of New York." Half of the tracks on his new Landscapes CD are in the public domain. (Sorry ASCAP and BMI!) But Macchia dresses up these old melodies in cool jazz garb. By the time he is done with "Down in the Valley," it has been transformed into a 6/8 blues, reminiscent of "All Blues" with a dose of Getz's Focus. Macchia's orchestral writing is excellent, and he avoids the risk (ever present with songs such as "Down in the Valley") of falling into empty Copland-esque flourishes or unconscious mimicry of Western film soundtracks. Macchia's last CD Emotions garnered a Grammy nomination, and he looks to have another winner with this release.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia


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