Mulo Francel – The Melody Sax

Artist: Mulo Francel
April 8th, 2023

The Melody Sax, Mulo Francel

A tribute to his 1923 C-melody saxophone and the instrument’s remarkable history on its 100th birthday, international saxophone phenomenon Mulo Francel presents ‘The Melody Sax’, set to release on April 28th on GLM Records.

Best known for his work with critically-acclaimed quartet Quadro Nuevo, Francel’s beloved instrument was widely used in the popular music of the 1920s and suddenly disappeared forever…

Characterized by a frivolous sound, and an almost circus-like positive timbre, the advantage of this saxophone variant was that many amateurs who played other instruments in C tuning (piano, flute, violin, organ …) could now simply use their old sheet music for the saxophone, which had become fashionable.

With the onset of the Great Depression, the popularity of the melody sax ebbed rapidly. Private individuals no longer had the money to afford this luxury item, and professional musicians and serious music students had no use for the hobby instruments. They were no longer produced after 1936.

Francel purchased his at a New York flea market for 125 dollars, and has proudly championed it on many of his recordings since 1997. Fascinated by the music of the roaring 20’s Francel felt moved to capture the smile of the music of the era and adapt it to a modern context.

The album’s 13 tracks are sure to contain a number of familiar songs to any jazz fan, presented in refreshingly modern contexts with creative arrangements that transform even the most overplayed standards into exciting and original. With grooves taken from bossa nova, R’n’B, soul, swing, and beyond, inventive countermelodies, the rich sound of a fender rhodes, and the trademark tone of Francel’s historic saxophone come together into a cohesive musical reflection on the intimate relationship between a musician and their instrument.

Line up

Mulo Francel | Saxophone
Chris Gall | Fender Rhodes
Philipp Schiepek | Guitar
Didi Lowka | Bass
Sebastian Wolfgruber | Drums
Andreas Hinterseher | bandoneon (on 1) & trumpet (on 13)

Track Listing

Close Your Eyes
Out Of Nowhere
Body and Soul
I’ve Found A New Baby
After You’ve Gone
Bye Bye Blackbird
Love Theme For Charlie Chaplin’s “The Gold Rush”
Singin’ The Blues
The Man I Love
Out Of Nowhere (Iceland Vulcano Soundtrack)