NOTES ON MO' ANIMALS Welcome to Mo' Animals, my tribute to all creatures big and small. Hummingbirds starts with a wild two part etude portraying the little birds darting about and then settles into a fast samba featuring Howard Levy on the diatonic harmonica. Yep, he's playing all those notes on a non-chromatic harmonica! Next up is Monkeys, a jungle groove that features Billy Childs on synth accordion. Pigs creates a loping barnyard roll-in-the-mud feel with Ken Kugler on harmon-muted bass trombone and me on contrabass clarinet. Bats features Valarie King's silky flutes. Billy Childs plays a beautiful piano solo over this AAB form. Frogs is a blues based on an 11/8,10/8 meter. I play an electric bass clarinet solo, followed by Grant Geissman on electric guitar and Bruce Fowler on trombone. Richard Schmidt of Clayzeness Whistleworks created a series of bass ocarinas for me, which I play on the intro to Whales. This segues to the whales' 'song' with a rich 7 part vocal texture sung by Tracy London, which represents the ocean's pulse as my bass and contrabass flute sing the whales melody. Elephants is my homage to the brass voicing style created by Duke Ellington. Wayne Bergeron on trumpet and Alex Iles on trombone really get the wailing elephantine thing going. The multi-metered hoedown of Chickens emulates their goofy and awkward strut. Vinnie does some amazing brush work and Grant Geissman makes the banjo pop. On Rhinos, Ken Kugler's bass trombone and my bass and bari saxes combine with Grant's crunchy electric guitar to produce that big tough feel. Lions starts with a fanfare. How else would you introduce the king of the jungle!? Brass dominate this 10/8,12/8 groove. Special thanks to the rock solid rhythm section of Dave Carpenter, Billy Childs and Vinnie Colaiuta throughout the album. Enjoy! - Frank Macchia, Fall 2005 Frank Macchia - Biography Born and raised in San Francisco, CA., Frank started on the clarinet at the age of ten years old. Soon afterward he began studies on bassoon, saxophone and flute. By the age of fourteen he began studying composition, writing jazz and classical pieces for his high school band and orchestra and for jazz ensembles that rehearsed at the local union hall, including trumpeter Mike Vax's Big Band. In 1975-76 Frank wrote jazz/classical hybrid works that were performed by the San Francisco Symphony and local professional jazz musicians, and he composed and conducted an orchestral overture for his high school graduation ceremony. During this time period he also performed and arranged music for contemporary dance bands in the Bay Area. In 1976 Frank attended Berklee College of Music, studying woodwinds with Joseph Viola, Joe Allard, Steve Grossman and composition/arranging with Herb Pomeroy, Phil Wilson, Greg Hopkins, Tony Texiera, and Ken Pullig. From 1976-80 he performed and composed for the top student ensembles as well as performing with his own ensembles. He received a National Endowment Grant for the Arts to compose a 90 minute continuous jazz/classical suite for large ensemble. He also won Down Beat magazine's DB award for original big band composition in 1979. After graduating with a degree in traditional composition, Frank taught at Berklee at the tender age of 20, as well as performed throughout the New England area with his 8-piece fusion group, 'Booga-Booga'. In 1981 Frank moved back to the San Francisco area where he continued working as a musician and composer/arranger over the next ten years, performing concerts with such artists as Ella Fitzgerald, Rita Moreno, Tony Bennett, Jack Jones, Clare Fischer, Chuck Mangione, and the Temptations, to name a few. He performed with local groups such as The Bay Area Jazz Composers Orchestra, Mike Vax's Great American Jazz Band, Royal Street, the Dick Bright Orchestra and the Melotones. He also led his own original groups, including The Gleets, Desperate Character and The Frankie Maximum Band. In 1989 he recorded Introducing Frankie Maximum, an eclectic CD that showcased original material in a variety of styles, from new wave to polka. He followed that with the CD Frankie Maximum Goes Way-er Out West, a wild romp through traditional cowboy folksongs, done with new treatments (Ringo as a hip-hop jazz tune!?). This 1991 album received much critical praise including being named one of the top ten albums of the year by the Oakland Tribune In 1991 Frank toured Germany performing in productions of West Side Story and 42nd Street, and when that tour was over, he found himself in Los Angeles, where he has remained ever since. Since 1992 he has worked as a composer/orchestrator on many films and television projects, including Fantastic Four, Miracle, X2-Xmen United, Men of Honor, Eight Legged Freaks, Ghosts of the Abyss, Austin Powers: Goldmember, The Contender, The Apt Pupil, Santa Clause 2, and television shows Night Visions, Nickelodeon's Oh Yeah Cartoons, Disney's Oliver Twist, and the Tonight Show. In 2003 he completed The Galapagos Suite, a six movement suite based on the animals of the Galapagos Islands, where he and his wife Tracy visited. His CD, 'Animals' was released in Fall 2004, featuring Frank on multi-woodwinds and a roster of some of Los Angeles best musicians. In 2004 he also was a composer-fellow at the 2004 Sundance Composer's Lab. He's just releasing his latest CD, Mo' Animals, a follow-up to Animals featuring Billy Childs, Vinnie Colauita, Howard Levy and many other great jazz musicians. He lives in Burbank, CA with his wife and son Charlie.
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