Cadence Magazine digs Folk Songs for Jazzers!

April 29, 2010

We got a very nice review at Cadence magazine.  Here's the text:

On previous CD issues, Frank Macchia has lived by the axiom that you can’t have too many saxophones: well-rehearsed and energetic, large reed-bearing ensembles have moved nimbly from contemporary Jazz originals to “That’s A Plenty.” "Folk Songs for Jazzers", a genre-crossing
if not genre-bending session that summoned up momentary visions of days gone by—Dixieland Hits Country and Western—is slightly different. For one thing, Macchia has assembled something more like a big Jazz band with brass (and his favorite drummer, Peter Erskine); he also has added guest vocalists, Tierney Sutton being one. Macchia is imaginative and witty—his arrangements are anything but predictable, blending exuberant solos, unusual time-signatures, passages that suggest television theme songs or variety-show extravaganzas, Mingus, Gil Evans, or Ellington (all supported by a forceful Erskine). Tierney Sutton offers a pretty “Red River Valley” over shifting, twining lines, and Ellis Hall makes you hear “Amazing Grace” anew. Rollicking vamps and off-center melodic statements, Latin rhythms and cascading section work keep potentially over-familiar material from being dull. This CD would be a rebuke to anyone who thinks that standard repertoire has exhausted its improvisatory possibilities; anyone who can transform “On Top of Old Smokey” has my admiration.

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