The ‘jazz standard’ is a musical vehicle for jazz musicians from all over the world to communicate together on a shared repertoire. It is also an artistic aesthetic which basically means I can do whatever I want to this beautiful song and play as many ‘wrong’ notes as I like – we will be taking the latter approach. The 14-piece Mace Francis Orchestra will present re-imaginings of previously beautiful songs, such as ‘My Funny Valentine’, ‘Get Out of Town’, ‘My Romance’ and ‘The Man I Love’. It will be a night a fun, laughter and strange music.
The Mace Francis Orchestra (MFO) was formed late in 2005 by band-leader and composer Mace Francis to experiment with composition, in the style of the great modern big bands led by Bob Brookmeyer, Thad Jones, Bill Holman and Maria Schneider. The result has been the coming together of 14 of Perth’s finest musician’s and composers to create exciting new music for big band.
Over the last 13 years MFO has recorded 6 CDs, toured nationally four times and performed with international jazz artists, Jim Pugh (USA), Jon Gordon (NY), John Hollenbeck (Berlin), Theo Bleckmann (NY), Ed Partyka (GER) and Satoko Fujii (JAP). In 2015 MFO was awarded the APRA/AMCOS Art Music Award for Jazz Work of the Year for their recent album, Music for Average Photography. With swirling saxophones, big brass and a driving rhythm section their performances are filled with energy, humour, raw energy and sophistication. A little big band that punches above it weight.
Saxophones: Ben Collins, Dan Hart, Brett Smith, Mark Sprogowski
Trumpets: Ricki Malet, Matthew McGlynn, Matt Smith
Trombones: Blake Phillips, Catherine Noblet, Rob Coleman
Guitar: Harry Winton
Bass: Wayne Slater
Drums: Greg Brenton
Vocals: Sarah Ramsey
Conductor: Mace Francis
“These layered compositions and scoring convey colour, atmosphere and movement far more effectively and with greater interest than the stock standard arrangements often heard from big bands. Francis, understandably, has attracted international interest with his outstanding orchestra and compelling compositions.” – John McBeath, The Weekend Australian Newspaper