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Franck Amsallem is a French-American jazz pianist, arranger, composer, singer and educator. He was born in 1961 in Oran, French Algeria, but grew up in Nice, France.[1]

Franck Amsallem
Franck Amsallem.jpeg
Background information
Born (1961-10-25) 25 October 1961 (age 57)
Oran, French Algeria
GenresJazz
Occupation(s)Composer, bandleader, musician
InstrumentsPiano, Vocals
Years active1976–present
LabelsSunnyside, Naïve, Nocturne
Associated actsGary Peacock, Bill Stewart
Websitewww.amsallem.com

Contents

Early yearsEdit

Amsallem started learning the piano at age 7 and also took up the classical saxophone at the local conservatory. Early in his studies he was able to hear such artists as Thad Jones, Count Basie, Charles Mingus, Bill Evans, Sonny Stitt and Stan Getz live at the Nice Jazz Festival. He made his professional debut in 1976 at the age of fourteen in Nice, and by high school was playing in dance bands throughout the Cote d'Azur and featured in the documentary La Leçon de Musique as a student of John Lewis. He was awarded a full scholarship to attend the Berklee College of Music[2] in 1981, to study composition and arranging with Herb Pomeroy and Michael Gibbs.

New York CityEdit

Amsallem moved to New York City in 1986 to earn a Masters in Jazz composition at the Manhattan School of Music . He went on to study with Bob Brookmeyer from 1986 to 1990, all the while continuing his classical piano studies with Phillip Kawin. He then played or collaborated with Gerry Mulligan, Joe Chambers, Gary Peacock, Bill Stewart, Joshua Redman, Maria Schneider, Jerry Bergonzi, Charles Lloyd, Bobby Watson, Roy Hargrove, Kevin Mahogany, Ravi Coltrane, Bob Brookmeyer, Bob Belden, Sonny Fortune, Tim Ries, Gary Bartz, Rick Margitza, Joe Roccisano, Blood, Sweat & Tears, and Harry Belafonte.

In 1989, Amsallem's composition "Obstinated" was performed by the Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, now known as the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. He has since written, conducted and recorded big band music for the Köln Radio Jazz Orchestra (WDR), the Orchestre National de jazz (France), chamber cross-over music for the Prism Saxophone Quartet, Chicago's chamber ensemble Fulcrum Point, and cross-over symphonic pieces as well as big band music for the Mancini Institute. He has taught or given workshops at Roosevelt University, New York's 92Y, Paris' CNSM, CRR, the Royal conservatory in Den Haag, and in many other countries. His 1990 recording debut, Out a Day, featuring Gary Peacock on bass and Bill Stewart on drums, was produced at the famed Clinton Recording Studios in Manhattan. The album was reviewed by the Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings, which gave it four stars (maximum rating).[3] To date, he has recorded a total of 10 albums under his name.

Amsallem has received several awards, including a Composition Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the ASCAP award for Young composers, a FAJE Award (French American Jazz Exchange) and the Fondation de la Vocation Award from France.

ParisEdit

Amsallem returned to France in 2001, settling in Paris, where he has collaborated or recorded with local greats Stephane Belmondo, Elisabeth Kontomanou, and Sara Lazarus.

In 2009 he released his first solo piano album.[4]

He has performed all around the world (United States, the Netherlands, Israel, Algeria, China, South Africa, Portugal, South and Central America, Vietnam, Indonesia, Sénégal). He toured throughout 2011 in South America, Europe and Asia, and performed at the Java Jazz Festival, on its way to solo concerts in Vietnam and in The Emirates.

Franck Amsallem Sings Vol. II, was released in September 2014. His new group, featuring Cuban saxophonist Irving Acao just recorded for the jazzandpeople label, for a 2019 release.

DiscographyEdit

An asterisk (*) indicates that the year is that of release.

As leader/co-leaderEdit

Year recorded Title Label Personnel/Notes
1990 Out a Day OMD Trio, with Gary Peacock (bass), Bill Stewart (drums)
1993* Regards Freelance Quartet, with Tim Ries (sax), Scott Colley (bass), Bill Stewart (drums)
1996* Is That So Sunnyside Trio, with Tim Ries (tenor sax), Leon Parker (drums, percussion)
1997* Another Time Challenge/A Trio, with Gary Peacock (bass), Bill Stewart (drums) reissue of Out a Day
1998* Years Gone By Challenge/A Quartet, with Tim Ries (sax), Riccardo Del Fra (bass), Daniel Humair (drums)
2000* On Second Thought Naïve With Tim Ries (alto sax, soprano sax), Johannes Weidenmuller (bass), Marc Miralta (drums)
2003 Summer Times Sunnyside Trio, with Johannes Weidenmuller (bass), Joe Chambers (drums)
2005 A Week in Paris Nocturne Duo to sextet, with Rick Margitza (saxophone), Stéphane Belmondo (trumpet), Darryl Hall (bass), Elisabeth Kontomanou (vocals), Dré Pallemaerts (drums)
2009* Amsallem Sings Fram Solo piano and vocals
2014* Franck Amsallem Sings Vol. II Fram With Sylvain Romano and Karl Jannuska
2018* At Barloyd Jazzandpeople Solo piano

As sidemanEdit

AwardsEdit

  • 1981-1983: Full scholarship from Ministere des Affaires Etrangeres (France) to attend the Berklee College of Music
  • 1983-1984: Full scholarship from Ministere de la Culture (France) to attend the Berklee College of Music
  • 1986-87: Scholarship award to attend the Manhattan School of Music
  • 1989: Fondation de la Vocation Award (France)
  • 1989: National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship to compose works for string orchestra.
  • 1990: ASCAP Award For Young Composer
  • 2010: FAJE Award (French American Jazz Exchange)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian. The Penguin guide to jazz on CD. Penguin. p. 38. ISBN 0-14-051521-6.
  2. ^ "Take Five With Franck Amsallem". All About Jazz. 2010-01-28. Retrieved 2010-09-08.
  3. ^ Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian. The Penguin guide to jazz on CD. Penguin. p. 38. ISBN 0-14-051521-6.
  4. ^ Lindsay, Bruce (2010). "Amsallem Sings". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2010-09-08.

External linksEdit

SourcesEdit

  • Richard Cook & Brian Morton. The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings, 8th Edition, London, Penguin, 2006 ISBN 0-14-102327-9
  • John Swenson. Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide, 1999