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Dave Frank: Portrait of New York

C. Michael Bailey By

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Track review of "Bowery Blues"

New York-based Dave Frank is a piano style unto himself. With the most solid left hand playing jazz piano, Frank delights in composing and improvising the most devilish bass lines, defying Einstein's rule governing space and time. Frank's last recording, Ballads and Burners (Jazz Heads, 2007), amply demonstrated why Frank has a Jazz School named for him.

Frank joins Alex Levin and his recent New York Portraits (Self Produced, 2010) in paying homage to the Cultural Center of the United States. Frank honors NYC with more originals than Levin, one being the slickly serpentine "Bowery Blues," which is, indeed a blues, but one from the Dave Frank Universe, where nothing is as it seems. Frank opens the piece with a complex walking bass line that evolves beyond the twelve bars trying to contain it. Once established, Frank applies his right hand to building a picture of New York piano, from stride to Cecil Taylor. Frank's right hand freely improvises to the logical conclusion the blues always reaches: a consonant coda.

Track Listing: Full Force NYC; Broadway Boogie-Woogie; This Nearly Was Mine; Midtown 9 AM; Perdido; My Man's Gone; Lower East Side Shuffle; McKenna/McCoy; Manhattan by Moonlight; Bowery Blues; You And The Night And The Music; Times Square.

Personnel: Dave Frank: piano.

Title: Portrait of New York | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Jazzheads


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