Ballads and Burners
Dave Frank

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Tracks/Mp3 Samples

Spirit Of the Burn

Rousseau's 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 Monet

Allied Forces

It's Alright With Me

Liner Notes

Dave Frank: solo piano
Produced by Dave Frank and Paul Bagin
Associate producers Charlie Banacos and Randy Klein
Engineered and mastered by Paul Bagin
Recorded in April-May 2000 at Hyperstudio, Long Island, NY
All tunes written or improvised by Dave Frank @ Spacefish Publishing, 2006, except It’s Alright With Me, written by Cole Porter.
Cover Illustration by DC Langer
Graphic Design by Maye-Cavaliaro |
Art Direction and Design by Richard Mantel
Photography by New York Photo Studios, Inc.
;2Piano technician Dave Dennison
Dave Frank compositions/Improvisations copyright Spacefish Publishing, 2010

The music on this CD was recorded live to two-track on a Yamaha C7 grand piano.
There are no pitch/speed alterations or edits on any of the tracks.


To contact the Dave Frank School of Jazz in Manhattan visit or email

©℗ 2006 Jazzheads, Inc.
Released and Distributed by Jazzheads, Inc.
P.O. Box 0523
Planetarium Station
New York, NY 10024-0523

Phone: 212-580-9065 | 800-871-5261
Fax: 212-580-3341


Ballads and Burners: From Dave Frank

With thunder and lightning,
Through ballads and burners,
Appearing as every conceivable form, shape, color, sound and experience
The Great Improviser is revealing and disguising himself forever

This CD was recorded in three sessions in the spring of 2000. The entire recording project, however, took four years of preparation and experimentation. I was trying through this recording to explore two of the three types of solo playing I enjoy most—ballads and “turn it loose” up-tempo burners.

My working concept was to present a wide variety of solo performances that moved logically through different moods, musical colors and tempos. A trip to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston with my wife Hari was the inspiration for the tunes that were written as musical reflections of the work of some of the great painters of the 19th and 20th century. Some other tunes were written or improvised about millennial themes that seemed important at the time of recording.

For the listener, being aware of the original inspiration of this music may add to the enjoyment of listening.

The Spirit of the Burn: This track illustrates the basic attitude driving the burner style of playing. It’s a go-for-broke improvisation based on the chord changes of Yesterdays. I like vamping on the 5th chord near the end of the improv to prepare for the dam to break.

Rousseau’s World: The painting “The Sleeping Gypsy” by Henri Rousseau inspired this piece. Using a cyclic chord progression underneath the melody expressed the severe nature of the painting.

The Mechanization Of America: In this improvisation, the LH “retro boogie” pattern represents the rhythm of the work of the machines that built the infrastructure of the USA, and the RH motif introduced at the beginning of the tune was patterned after the sound of hammers hitting steel.

Information Highway: This burner is a musical reflection of information moving over the Internet.

Salvador Dali In A State Of Grace: This improv has a short written melody that is played at the beginning and the end of the piece. I was thinking about the place where Dali went to after his death... he was a pretty weird cat while he was alive, after he died you can only imagine the kind of world he’d go to...

Jackson Pollack At Work: In this atonal burner, the LH bass line presents Pollack’s feet walking around the canvas, and the RH improvisation is reflective of his unique style of painting, using his brush to quickly fling the paint onto the canvas.

Shades of Renoir: This composition was written to Renoir’s painting “Le Moulin de la Galette.” I’ve loved this painting since I was very young, and the mood of the painting combined with the brushstrokes Renoir used always seemed very beautiful to me.

Afternoon In Nahant: This piece was written about an island off the coast of Massachusetts named Nahant. Sometimes powerful storms would blast the island, followed by a surreal , unusually calm weather system.

Like People In Heat: Self-explanatory!

Portrait of Manet: This composition/improv is a musical impression of the painting “Self-Portrait” by Edouard Manet. The painting is dark, moody and evocative.

Allied Forces: This is a war song written about the Allied invasion of Normandy in 1944.

Burning Out: This is a burner based on the changes of It’s Alright With Me. Here I am blowing over the changes in the keys of D, F, G, A, C and D minors, ascending.

I think that this recording is my best recorded work to date and hope that you enjoy it!

Dave Frank, April 2, 2006, New York City

Special thanks to:

My wife Hari for her patience and devotion; Irene Frank for her support; the incredible Charlie Banacos, who served as musical mentor for this CD; Randy Klein at Jazzheads Records; Dr. Michael McGee for his compassion and dedication to his work; Gurucharan Singh Khalsa for his invaluable counsel; Paul Bagin for his great work in the studio; and Elton Kantor at Hyperstudio.

This CD is dedicated with love and gratitude to Yogi Bhajan.

View Dave's Artist Page

Dave Frank is one of today's busiest solo jazz pianists and educators, the author of the best-selling Hal Leonard book and video series, Joy of Improv and Breakthrough to Improv, and was an Associate Professor at Berklee College.

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