Take Five With Franck Amsallem
Franck has performed in many of the big festivals, from Antibes to Pori, Nice to Molde and has backed Gerry Mulligan, Charles Lloyd and Harry Belafonte, recorded with Bobby Watson, Roy Hargrove or Joshua Redman, performed in the bands of Maria Schneider, Rick Margitza, Jerry Bergonzi and Joe Chambers, has composed numerous pieces for big band, for strings and for chamber orchestra. His suite "Nuits" for jazz quartet and string orchestra has been performed in Romania, Bulgaria, France and in Los Angeles. "I love the variety of situations, learning as you go along, challenging every solution, nothing ever preset." In the fall of 2003, Franck returned to the trio with Summer Times (Nocturne/Sunnyside) featuring Johannes Weidenmuller on bass and Joe Chambers on drums. Jazzman ("This recording aims for a perfect balance in every sense of the word"), Telerama, JazzTimes (..."laid-back yet brash, simple yet complex, unassuming yet confident and above all original') all praise the new effort. In the fall of 2005, Nocturne released A Week In Paris, a Billy Strayhorn tribute featuring Elisabeth Kontomanou, Rick Margitza and Stephane Belmondo ("disque d'emoi" jazz magazine, 4 stars Jazzman). In the last few years, Franck has performed in the US (Washington D.C., Chicago, Houston, Dallas, NYC), Canada, a nine-city tour of South Africa and neighboring countries, Israel, China, Holland, Belgium, Croatia, Portugal, Spain, Armenia, Lebanon, Mexico, Algeria and a five-country tour of Central America. From solo to symphony orchestras, as well as big and small bands, and frequently collaborates with local musicians.
Franck new cd, Amsallem Sings is a solo piano with vocals available in November 2009.
Teachers and/or influences?
Herb Pomeroy, composition Philip Kawin, classical piano Bob Brookmeyer, composition
Influences: every great jazz musician.
I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
I heard the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Jazz orchestra in 1977 in Nice, France.
Your sound and approach to music:
Few notes, original tunes, swinging approach, melodic turns, big and sensuous sound.
Your teaching approach:
Help students explore their own potential. Do not rehash the same old stuff. Learn the tradition of bebop and go beyond.
Your dream band:
Brian Blade, drums John Patitucci, bass.
Road story: Your best or worst experience:
Having to perform in Lesotho, South Africa where there are no piano tuners. Or in Zimbabwe where the only piano available was at the US embassy.
The Blue Note NY.
Your favorite recording in your discography and why?
John Coltrane live at the Village Vanguard, 1965.
The most lyrical stuff ever.
The first Jazz album I bought was:
Stan Getz Jazz and Bossa
What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?