212

Dave Frank: Portrait Of New York

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Dave Frank: Portrait Of New York Jazz and New York are like hot dogs and baseball, or peanut butter and jelly. The Big Apple has been the epicenter of so many important movements and moments in jazz, that it's hard to think of any other place—save perhaps New Orleans—that deserves the honor of being captured in song. Pianist Dave Frank, widely recognized as a premier jazz educator and performer, pays tribute to New York with solo piano paintings of various streets and locales, and four reworked standards, on Portrait Of New York.

Frank's steady and creative left-hand lines—juxtaposed against a right hand that can be alternately relaxed or off-the-charts fast—is his calling card. A strong blues-affinity resides within his creations, but his ability to modernize older forms with slight abstractions—be it an altered chord progression or oddly angular intervals in his steady bass lines—is what makes this music so engaging. "Full Force NYC" opens the album and Frank's right hand seems to represent the hustle and bustle of New York life, as he throws out some jaw dropping runs. "Broadway Boogie-Woogie" is a bit more traditional in nature, but Frank's faster-than-usual take on "Perdido" breaths some fresh air into that well-worn classic.

While most of the originals refer to places, Frank does pay tribute to two piano giants with "McKenna/McCoy." The forward momentum found on this particular piece makes it a winner, though it never hints at the percussive power in McCoy Tyner's playing. Frank's slow, bluesy-woozy "Lower East Side Shuffle" is a real treat, though this track could have also benefited from some heavy-handed heft.

While Frank's flashier tendencies occasionally come to the fore during the more excitable songs, he proves to be a masterful ballad sculptor as well. Pangs of sadness, loss and regret come through on his emotionally reflective performance of "This Nearly Was Mine." Mysterious melodic threads are sewn in the upper regions of the piano as "My Man's Gone Now" begins. Some depression sets into the music and rubato rears it's head here, though this track eventually takes on a more defined rhythmic direction than the Richard Rodgers tune. Frank's own "Manhattan Moonlight" is pretty and classy, in an unassuming way.

Portrait Of New York paints a wonderful picture of solo piano possibilities and Manhattan-themed melodies, but it also serves as a portrait of Dave Frank...one of the most creative pianists around today.

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.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Jazzheads


Shop

More Articles

Read Pathways CD/LP/Track Review Pathways
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 30, 2017
Read Landing CD/LP/Track Review Landing
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 30, 2017
Read Words And Music CD/LP/Track Review Words And Music
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 30, 2017
Read Faces CD/LP/Track Review Faces
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 30, 2017
Read Nor Sea, nor Land, nor Salty Waves CD/LP/Track Review Nor Sea, nor Land, nor Salty Waves
by Duncan Heining
Published: April 30, 2017
Read Petite Afrique CD/LP/Track Review Petite Afrique
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 29, 2017
Read "Ziljabu Nights - Live at Theater Gutersloh" CD/LP/Track Review Ziljabu Nights - Live at Theater Gutersloh
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 22, 2017
Read "Yellow Red Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Yellow Red Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 2, 2016
Read "Euro Swing Vol. 2" CD/LP/Track Review Euro Swing Vol. 2
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 24, 2016
Read "Easy Living" CD/LP/Track Review Easy Living
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 10, 2017
Read "Expanding Heart" CD/LP/Track Review Expanding Heart
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 21, 2016
Read "House Of Waters" CD/LP/Track Review House Of Waters
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 14, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!