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 January-February 1997 at Hyperstudio, Long Island, NY
All tunes written or improvised by Dave Frank @ Spacefish Publishing 1997 except
How Insensitive written by Antonio Carlos Jobim.
Cover Illustration by Jeanne Zephir
Art Direction by Mary Kent, Digital Domain
Photography by Logan Seale
Piano technician Dave Dennison
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.
Randy Klein at Jazzheads Records for his encouragement and advice.
My three great teachers John La Rosa, Lennie Tristano and Charlie Banacos for their guidance.
My wife Abby for her patience and devotion.
Irene Frank for her invaluable support.
Jeanne Zephir for her great cover illustration.
Mary Kent for her great graphic design.
G.C.S. Khalsa for his personal guidance.
Paul Bagin for his technical work, production assistance & friendship.
Bob Donnely for his legal assistance and advice.
—Dave Frank, April 2, 2006, New York City
©℗ 2007 Dave Frank.
Released and Distributed by Jazzheads, Inc.
This CD marks the recording debut of the great American jazz pianist Dave Frank. It is the product of 25 years of work towards the development of a repertoire for the piano as a solo voice. “The piano, in and of itself can be a complete entity,” says Frank, “and can express a wide range of human emotion. The challenge for me was to express and convey all the moods in one set and to explore the possibilities and potential of the instrument.”
For this wide ranging and consistently stimulating solo date, Dave wrote and/or improvised all but one selection. “The material runs the gamut from pieces that are entirely composed to songs that were completely improvised. I’m always concerned with creating a complete musical landscape.”
The program begins with The First Days of Spring, a lyrical waltz that is the first of Frank’s four Seasons of the Soul. Each of the original ballads portrays a different season with sensitivity and heartfelt emotion.
Sailing in the Sea of Joy and Wailing in the Joy of C both find Frank enjoying walking basslines, in half time and 4/4 time. “I’ve been working on playing over chord changes rather than tunes, sometimes improvising chord sequences from different tunes strung together. Wailing in The Joy of C was completely spontaneous. For an hour during the recording session, the spirit of the burn possessed me!”
The Mind of Miro, dedicated to the famous painter, is a thoughtful and harmonically advanced piece that leads logically into the beautiful ballad Indian Summer. Boogie Man Blues is much more extraverted, recalling the happy spirits of Memphis Slim in a joyous boogie-woogie romp that doubles the tempo halfway through. Overcoming matches blistering right-hand lines with powerful basslines in a tour-de-force, showing that Dave is very much a two-handed player.
The thoughtful waltz Autumn Nocturne precedes the rollicking Gone With The Breeze(Breeze is Dave’s nickname). Dave’s Wave is described by Frank as a “modal improvisation over a vamp, a hypnotic trance dance.” In contrast to a hilarious arrangement of How Insensitiveo...indeed!...Dave concludes the song seasons with the lush, peaceful Winter Landscapes.
After swinging through A Cure For the Blues, the CD concludes with a two-part piece dedicated to Dave’s early teacher Lennie Tristano (Dave studied with Lennie while still in his teens). Remembering Lennie evokes Lennie’s memory, while the incredible Turning It Loose is an intentional development of Lennie’s solo style, based on Tristano’s Lennie’s Pennies. The cadenza must be heard to be believed!
Dave’s sensitivity, his wide palette of emotional and textural colors, and his command of the instrument come across throughout Power of the Piano, establishing Dave as a new force to be reckoned with in the world of jazz piano.