92

Franck Amsallem: Summer Times

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Franck Amsallem: Summer Times Pianist Franck Amsallem's seventh record comes from a familiar angle, exploring the range of possibilities within a traditional jazz group. His sophisticated attitude toward the music gives it a rarified cosmopolitan feel, but that's only a mask for the quiet passion that lurks within. In this particular case he leads a trio and combines original material with standards, each tune coming in at a polite range from five to nine minutes in length.

It's impressive that Sunnyside managed to misspell the artist's name on both the cover and the spine of the disc; I doubt Franck has just shortened his name to Frank. He hails from Algeria via Paris, so the correct name makes sense, though he's lived in the US for over 20 years.

Amsallem's trio in this case conjoins him with his familiar partner Johannes Weidenmuller on bass and relative newcomer (for him, anyway) Joe Chambers on drums. The latter plays an important role in organizing a distinct sound here. On "Tom's Tune," for example, he lends a gentle percolating swing that sways and bobs but absolutely never lets go of timekeeping. Never busy, never aggressive, never in your face, Chambers burbles along in the background with enough perk and interaction to keep the pace interesting.

Likewise, Weidenmuller swings away on the bass, though he also comes across comfortable setting up more relaxed pulsing lines during quiet moments (as on "Laila's"). But the real star here, without a doubt, is the pianist. He fits less than perfectly into the mold of modern jazz pianist, deeply respectful of tradition but with a surprisingly limber and open feel, top to bottom. Melodic without dragging themes out, restless but genteel, he's not too far away from Keith Jarrett or other ECM pianists.

Amsallem's personal niche is a warm and inviting one. His liner notes admit that the "piano in my hands is mightier than the pen" (a humble assertion within that context). Mighty might not be the word I'd use, but Summer Times has its own reserved strength, and to be honest it's a welcome treat in the fading weeks of the sunny season. "Summertime" is a familiar experience, but it's different each time around.

Visit Sunnyside on the web.


Track Listing: I Got Rhythm; Summertime; Young and Foolish; Tom's Tune; Laila's; The Man I Love; Bud Will Be Back Shortly; You're My Everything.

Personnel: Franck Amsallem: piano; Johannes Weidenmuller: acoustic bass; Joe Chambers: drums.

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: FRAM/Sunnyside | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Mundo" CD/LP/Track Review Mundo
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: July 30, 2016
Read "For The Unknown" CD/LP/Track Review For The Unknown
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 19, 2016
Read "Stick Men + David Cross: Midori" CD/LP/Track Review Stick Men + David Cross: Midori
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 28, 2016
Read "Black Orpheus" CD/LP/Track Review Black Orpheus
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 30, 2016
Read "Duet" CD/LP/Track Review Duet
by Budd Kopman
Published: October 1, 2016
Read "Calm" CD/LP/Track Review Calm
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 25, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!

Buy it!