mulo francel Mocca Swing (double CD, £15.25)
Many people who have never heard the name of Mulo Francel will nonetheless be aware of his playing, because the saxophonist is one of the founder members of Germany’s most successful world music group, Quadro Nuevo, which has been in existence since 1996. For Francel, this band provides the ideal means to channel any need he might have for travel and also to give musical expression to his innate curiosity about other cultures. Quadro Nuevo brings him into contact with musicians, myths and melodies from all over the world, and these encounters happen ‘in the spirit of jazz’: freely, spontaneously and non-judgementally. That said, Francel’s musical roots are unquestionably in jazz. His legacy from a father who died too soon was a collection of jazz records, which became the door to a new world for the young Mulo. At the age of 16, he saved up his own money and bought a saxophone. His studies in Linz, Munich and New York prepared him for the wider world. Alongside his allegiance to Quadro Nuevo, he has always stayed true to jazz, from his early soul band Mind Games, through the trio Die Abenteurer (the adventurers), to a jazz quartet, with whom he recorded the album ‘Escape’ five years ago. Most recently he has been part of Echoes Of Swing with Pete York, Shannon Barnett and Henning Gailing, who made a ‘Tribute To Bix Beiderbecke’ in the ‘Jazz At Berlin Philharmonic’ series, which was issued as a double CD on the ACT label. ‘Mocca Swing’ marks a return to that abiding first love - of jazz. And yet his debut album in his own name on ACT is much more than that. “It has been such a luxury. A wonderful escapade, I’ve been able to go the whole way,” says Francel.
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