Frank is up for consideration in the 55th Grammy Awards in the Field of Jazz: Category: Instrumental Jazz Album for his CD Swamp Thang, as well as the Field of Composing/Arranging: Category: Instrumental Composition: Upsy Daisy as well as Category: Instrumental Arrangement: The Wizard of Oz Medley from the CD by the Resonance Flute Consort.
If you're a voting member of NARAS you can find these selections in alphabetical order within the categories. You can hear the songs seeking nomination by clicking the link buttons below. We hope if you're a voting member of NARAS you'll listen to these songs and consider them for nomination! If you're not a member of NARAS, we hope you enjoy them as well!
Grammy Field 10: Jazz
Instrumental Jazz AlbumFrank Macchia - Swamp Thang
- Funky Grease Bucket
- Mumbo Jumbo
Grammy Field 23: Composing/Arranging
Instrumental Composition:Frank Macchia - Upsy Daisy
Grammy Field 23: Composing/Arranging
Instrumental Arrangement:Frank Macchia - The Wizard of Oz Medley (Resonance Flute Consort)
Ken Franckling's Jazz Notes
Review by Ken Franckling
L.A.-based saxophonist Frank Macchia has a dandy here. Swamp Thang is his newest band, and its focus is revved up at the intersection of funk, the blues and some irresistible New Orleans Second Line shuffle beat. The cacophony that opens the set on "Discombobulated" makes it clear this will be a wild ride – and the leader's versatility serves him well throughout the session. The rhythm section aces are keyboard player John Rosenberg, bassist Tom Lockett and drummer Frank Briggs. Eric Jensen and Ken Rosser share electric guitar duties. Jensen is particularly fine on the funky blues title track. The sextet is joined by two guests: trombonist Alex Iles and trumpeter Wayne Bergeron. Chances are you'll dig the variety of music here, the funky and unbridled fun sides of its makers - and the wild cover art. Yes, jazz can be fun - and should be crazy fun once in a while.
Los Angeles Jazz Scene CD Reviews
Review by Scott Yanow
Saxophonist-arranger-composer Frank Macchia has a new project. While he formerly led an oversized big band that played unusual and often-humorous modern jazz versions of folk songs, Swamp Thang is something different.
In Swamp Thang, Macchia's woodwinds are joined by keyboardist John Rosenberg, both Ken Rosser and Eric Jensen on electric guitars, electric bassist Tom Lockett and drummer Frank Briggs. On their debut CD, they perform 12 of its leader's colorful and sometimes crazy originals. Although the sound of the group is much different than his previous orchestra, Frank Macchia's humor and musical personality are very much present. Mixing together funk, the sound of rock, New Orleans parade band rhythms, and a few odd time signatures with crazy humor, Macchia has created music that is fun and a bit demented.
Whether it is the 5/4 calypso "Discombobulated," the 7/4 New Orleans piece "Hopstcotch," "Funky Grease Bucket" (which lives up to its name), the 13/4 bluish groove of "Butterfingers," or "Sick Shuffle" (a blues in two keys), the music never loses one's interest. Macchia is heard on a variety of reeds and his two guitarists have opportunities to blast out rockish solos that add to the intensity.
Fun as this recording is, one can only imagine what the hilarity must be when seeing Swamp Thang live. This CD is available from www.frankmacchia.net
All About Jazz.com
Review by Dan McClenaghan
January 12, 2012
You never can tell what some jazz guys have up their sleeves. Los Angeles-based reedman Frank Macchia has worked extensively in television and movies, while maintaining a busy jazz career. His two orchestral jazz outings—Emotions (2006) and Landscapes (2008)—each garnered Grammy nominations, and he has also offered up two very distinctive jazz re-imaginings of traditional fare with Folk Songs for Jazzers (2010) and Son of Folk Songs for Jazzers (2011), all released on his own Cacophony Records.
With Frank Macchia's Swamp Thang, the versatile saxophonist takes a trip into a sonic landscape of bayou boogie, blues, funk, and New Orleans second-line with joyful and freewheeling attitude, letting the good times roll wild and crazy. The leader's wailing sax is usually located dead center of a controlled chaos, with swirling calliope keyboards, snapping, stinging guitars and get-up-and-shake-it grooves.
Opening this set of Macchia originals, Tom Lockett lays down a solid and beefy bass line inside the calamitous ensemble sound of "Discombobulated." "Funky Grease Bucket" conjures images of the late super soul vocalist James Brown breaking into one of his get-out-of-my-way-Michael Jackson dance routines, with Macchia going guttural on baritone saxophone, inside brassy horns and breezy keyboards, over a backdrop of precision-slashing guitars.
The title tune has a thick, murky rhythm and muscular, ominous mood, while "Chuggin'" is Macchia's entry into the "train song" genre, with the band charging down the tracks without a thought about applying the brakes, whistle screaming over the clamor of metallic wheels and machinery.
This mostly wild ride closes out with "Upsy Daisy," the only stream-of-consciousness tune, featuring many meter changes and shifting grooves, and a cool and laidback tenor solo from Macchia, accompanied beautifully by the band in a sort of voice-of-gathering-sanity wind-down to a ferocious party-time set of sounds.
Track Listing: Discombobulated; Funky Grease Bucket; Hopscotch; Shhhh!; Mumbo Gumbo, Dumbo Gumbo; Butterfingers; Swamp Thang; Jungle Dance; Chuffin'; Sick Shuffle; Rhueben's Rhythmic Rhumba; Upsy Daisy.
Personnel: Frank Macchia: saxophones/woodwinds; John Rosenberg: keyboards; Ken Rosser: electric guitar; Eric Jensen: electric guitar; Tom Lockett: electric bass; Frank Briggs: drums, percussion; Alex Iles: trombone; Wayne Bergeron: trumpet.