MACE, AGAIN

THE MACE FRANCIS ORCHESTRA                                                                                         Music For Average Photography                                                                                       listen/here (no #)

Mace Francis – com/arr;; Ricki Malet, Callum G’Froerer, Matthew McGlynn – tpt; Blake Phillips, Jame Cross, Rob Coleman – tbn; Ben Collins, Dan Hart, Brett Smith, Mark Sprogowski –saxes; Harry Winston – gtr; Ashley de Neef – bs; Greg Brenton – dms. [Perth, WA: 10, 12, 13 Oct, 2013]

Following in My Footsteps/Frozen Water/Adaption/Corio Landscape/View From a Train/Dead Corn/A Study of Stationary/Suitcases/Let Sleeping Dogs Lie/Wine Glass Perspective.   TT: 49:00.

Well, as I mentioned in my review of Francis’ efforts in Vol. 48, No. 1 (p. 78/79), there is a more recent Mace Francis Orchestra album out there and I finally got around to buying one! A worthy purchase, indeed!! And, as is often the case, there is an overarching odd theme of sorts – I’ll let the leader take over!:

      This collection of compositions is a departure from the extended pieces I have written over the last ten years since forming MFO. Each short “song” has been composed to accompany a crappy photograph. Originally when thinking about this idea, I thought of collaborating with a professional photographer, to discuss the vision and style of photography, maybe even a narrative throughout… but then I remembered I have a smart phone and an Instagram account! Why not (like everyone else with a smart phone seems to think) be the professional photographer I have always wanted to become… how hard could it be? I obviously have an eye for photography, I have the equipment and I certainly have the time. I hope you enjoy Music for Average Photography.

 Once again another quirky premise from a slightly warped(?) mind!? Australians… gotta love ’em!!

There is nothing to these ears that surpasses a well-rehearsed and experienced big band, which is what we’ve got here from Perth, WA. (Thanks, Dad!) These guys do what has to be done under these circumstances and do it as “coordinatedly” as possible with great dynamics. Each composition/arrangement works as such, and the whole, as disparate as it may look, holds together. Tinges of Henry Mancini mixed in with Gil Evans, a.o., if you all can get your head around those possibilities of influence! Sound painting at its finest. I cannot pick out individual soloists or tunes/arrangements, but the CD is a lovely group effort audio experience to which you should give a listen. It enfolds the listener in sound beautifully and it all “works” extremely well. Jazz of the 21st Century of the highest quality can come from all over the world… I must get myself to Perth one day soon!!

PETER B. LOWRY

Submitted – IAJRC Journal

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