Fried Zombie Stew / Frank Macchia
Frank Macchia's crazed jazz/funk/blues band Swamp Thang has a new CD out that's determined to make you smile and groove, called Fried Zombie Stew! Featuring all original music by three time Grammy nominated composer/saxophonist Frank Macchia, this band is out to have fun. The music takes the genres of funk, blues, jazz and nawlins second line and tosses in some wild odd meters and twisted melodies. They make up a groove-fest that you're gonna love!
Featuring John Rosenberg on piano, organ and keyboards, Ken Rosser and Eric Jensen on electric guitars, Tom Lockett on electric bass and Frank Briggs on drums and percussion. Also featuring special guests Alex Iles on trombone and Wayne Bergeron on trumpet. The new CD features 12 all new tunes by Frank!
Yes, we're back again with a fresh installment of crazy jazz-funk-blues with a touch of odd meters and kooky melodies. We start off this set with Fried Zombie Stew, the title track which features Eric and myself on solos. I had a heart mishap at the beginning of this year and it made me realize that I could no longer eat all the decadent foods that I desired, so I wrote a little tune about this predicament, Thumpety Thump Thump. Eric lays down a bluesy guitar solo, and Wayne wails on the trumpet at the end. Diddley Vs Spock came about as I wondered what a musical meeting between Mr. Spock of Star Trek and Bo Diddley might sound like. Eric and I trade solos, as do Ken and John. Walkin' the Hog is just a whacky little riff tune that features a great clavinet solo by John. Tommy is featured up front and closing Red Light, which was named for the red light district in Hamburg, Germany, where I lived briefly many years ago. Falling Off the Wagon is really just a blues but with some twists and turns. Ken plays a wild guitar solo on this one!
I wanted to do a tribute to all those great Stax records and grooves that I listened to as a kid, so I wrote Groovin' 4 Daze with solos by John, me and Ken. Shimmy Go-Bop is a rocking blues, idiomatically like the tune Cool Jerk, but in 15/8! Zag Zig features Ken Rosser and he really tears this one up. Three Leg Pony is a funk riff tune, and even though it's in 4/4, it sounds like an odd meter. Weird, huh? Solo order is me, Eric, John and Ken. I can't do an album without a shuffle, and my offering this time is Crusty Old Man, with solos by me, Eric, Alex on trombone, Ken and John. Our drummer Frank Briggs is featured on Jiggle Wiggle, with solos by me, Eric, John and Ken.
1. (6:45) Fried Zombie Stew
2. (4:05) Thumpety Thump Thump
3. (4:48) Diddley Vs. Spock
4. (4:00) Walkin' the Hog
5. (6:18) Red Light
6. (4:38) Falling Off the Wagon
7. (4:22) Groovin' 4 Daze
8. (3:27) Shimmy Go-Bop
9. ( 3:30) Zag Zig
10. (7:27) Three Leg Pony
11. (4:57) Crusty Old Man
12. (7:19) Jiggle Wiggle
All Music Composed and/or Arranged by Frank Macchia
Frank Macchia- tenor, baritone & bass saxes, piccolo, flute, vocals
John Rosenberg- piano, electric piano, organ
Ken Rosser- electric guitar
Eric Jensen-electric guitar
Tom Lockett- electric bass
Frank Briggs- drums, percussion
Special Guests: Alex Iles- trombone Wayne Bergeron- trumpet Tracy London- vocals
All music composed by Frank Macchia © 2012 Framac Music (BMI)
Recorded on July 23-24, 2012 at 712 Media Studio. Los Angeles, CA
Produced and Mixed by Frank Macchia
Mastered by Rich Breen
Cover Art by Guy Vasilovich
©2012 Frank Macchia and Cacophony, Inc., Burbank, CA.
Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws,
Review by Michael Jackson
This is the sophomore outing for California saxophonist Frank Macchia's Swamp Thang sextet, and artist Guy Vasilovich has created another terrifying cover painting, satisfying Macchia's macabre sense of humor (he produced a series of audio horror stories titled "Little Evil Things" back in the late '90s). "Thumpety Thump Thump" is a terror that awaits many of us since it refers to a heart complaint brought on by indulgent eating, as Macchia half apologetically recounts from personal experience. It fi ts the gumbo theme of New Orleans with funk and second line fl avors ostensible on "Zig Zag" (a nod to Zigaboo Modeliste?), a slow cooked feature for guitarist Ken Rosser, and "Jiggle Wiggle," which boasts more whipcrack playing from drummer Frank Briggs. Macchia has scored signifi cant fi lm music, is clearly idiomatically eclectic and has plenty of pull with crack L.A. studio musicians. He borrows Bo Diddley's patent riff, taking it into the fourth dimension à la Eddie Harris with quartal harmony on "Diddley Vs Spock." "Groovin' For Daze" kicks off with Steve Cropper-like guitar licks exhuming the heyday of the Memphis Stax sound, Rosser nicely borrowing elements of Macchia's solo for the beginning of his own. "Shimmy Go-Bop" is in 15/8 and has some effective counterpoint in the arrangement before the unison fi nale. The lugubrious bass intro to "Red Light" suggests a damp brothel on Hamburg's Reeperbahn, but then the tune kicks into an easy lilt recalling Joe Zawinul's "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy." "Falling Off The Wagon" has more urgency with Macchia pumping baritone riffs against the horn line and James Brown styled background chank heralding another Rosser shred. The enterprising leader overdubs fl utes on "Walkin' The Hog" while John Rosenberg fl ips to clavinet. The dense funk of "Three Leg Pony" regurgitates phrases, Macchia continually spicing the pot.
Ken Franckling's Jazz Notes
Review by Ken Fanckling
Jazz Journalist Ken Franckling's review of our new CD: "Saxophonist Frank Macchia's band Swamp Thang is no flash in the musical pan. The L.A.-based sextet, which released its eponymous debut CD in 2011, is back with another helping of jazz, funk, blues, wild horn play and an inspired set of grooves. Fried Zombie Stew offers more of that, blended with Macchia's often-humorous song titles and inspirations. For example, "Diddley vs. Spock" imagines a musical meeting between Star Trek's Mr. Spock and guitarist Bo Diddley. This is a good-time party band, cooking up a rambunctious groove comparable to the New Orleans jazz-funk unit Bonerama. The heart of it all is the solo interplay between Macchia, keyboard ace John Rosenberg, bassist Tom Lockett and guitarists Eric Jensen and Ken Rosser. Special guests Alex Iles (trombone) and Wayne Bergeron (trumpet) flesh out the robust horn lines throughout. Highlights: "Fried Zombie Stew," the Stax Records-inspired "Groovin' 4 Daze," "Three Leg Pony" and "Jiggle Wiggle" - a feature for drummer Frank Briggs. "