For pianist, composer, and educator Dave Frank, the magic is in the left hand. Ballads & Burners is a collection of original compositions that brims with muscularity and assertion, whether ballads or burners.
What makes Frank interesting is the complexity of melody and rhythm he composes into his up-tempo pieces. The opener, "Spirit of the Burn, illustrates this. Following the exposition of a complex low register figure, Frank then begins to improvise with his right hand, displaying considerable prowess and power. "Rousseau's World is a muscular ballad, not lacking in tenderness, but bristling with energy.
Frank is a very percussive pianist, not unlike the late Don Pullen but without the avant-garde bent. "The Mechanization of America is a throbbing John Lee Hooker drone with advanced harmonic interpolations. The result is a certain hypnosis, albeit not a soothing one. Frank sets up a musical mantra that provides the song a steady velocity. His titles are often very descriptive. "Information Highway follows the format of "Spirit of the Burn, with a complex left hand that is constantly turning left and right while proceeding at high speed.
Frank has chops to burn, but it would be nice to hear what the pianist can do with standards old and new. A Coltrane or Dolphy recording would be interesting as well as time devoted to Ellington. His approach to his own compositions guarantees that whatever he does, it will be interesting.
Track Listing: Spirit Of The Burn; Rousseaus World; The Mechanization Of America; Information Highway; Salvador Dali In A State Of Grace; Jackson Pollack At Work; Shades Of Renoir; Afternoon In Nahant; Like People In Heat; Portrait Of Manet; Allied Forces; It's Alright With Me.
I grew up listening to my father's jazz records and listening to the radio. My dad was a musician for many years as a vocalist, bassist and drummer. His two uncles played in the Symphony of Reggio Calabria back in Italy
I grew up listening to my father's jazz records and listening to the radio. My dad was a musician for many years as a vocalist, bassist and drummer. His two uncles played in the Symphony of Reggio Calabria back in Italy. So music and jazz specifically have been a part of me since I was born. I love and perform in all styles of music from around the world. Improvisation in jazz is what drew me in, and still does as well as other genres that feature improvisation. A group of great musicians expressing themselves as one is the hallmark of great jazz and in fact all great music.