Franck Amsallem has been a professional pianist and composer for over 25 years. He has played many venues throughout the U.S. and Europe including the Village Gate, Knitting Factory, Birdland, Blues Alley, Pizza Express (London), Porgy and Bess (Vienna), the Pori, Molde, Nice jazz Festival and the Antibes-Juan les Pins Jazz Festival (where he shared the bill with Earth Wind and Fire). In 2004-2005, Franck toured throughout Western Europe, Mexico, South America and South Africa, as well as major concerts in Croatia, the Czech Republic, Armenia and Lebanon. He has been a leader on seven recordings, all of which have received rare critical acclaim. His sideman credits have included some of the greatest names in jazz, including Gerry Mulligan, Charles Lloyd, Gary Peacock, Bobby Watson, Jerry Bergonzi, Rick Margitza, Tim Ries, Joe Chambers, Maria Schneider, Blood Sweat and Tears, and Harry Belafonte.
We have an enigma in Franck Amsallem. Born in Algeria, he has lived most of his life in the United States. Usually his albums are devoted to his excellent originals, but for Summer Times (Sunnyside) his sources for most of the tunes are as American as they come:"Jazz via Tin Pan Alley." That's a quote from his notes, which sound remarkably like his keyboard style: laid-back, yet brash; simple, yet complex: unassuming, yet confident; and above all, original. Amsallem is always thinking, but the emotional highlight comes on the introspective "Young and Foolish." A ballad always separates the man from the boy, and the multilayered Summer Times is all human.
Owen Cordle, Jazztimes
Anyone who thinks that Brad Mehldau is the only one to watch these days when it comes to piano trio music should take notice of Amsallem's awesome effort. Don't miss it!
Jazztimes, February 2004
"...this series of mostly cerebral, abstract duets shows the lyrical and emotional similarity between pianist Amsallem and saxophonist and flutist Ries....Both players are excellent technicians, structured improvisers and have big ears for what is being played by the other..."
Erik Werkman Amazon.com
Franck shows a remarkable maturity in his playing. He refuses to show off technic, but rather plays with intelligence, clarity, and restraint throughtout.
To hear several passages of Franck Asallem's CDs, go directly to his Web site at the following address: http://perso.orange.fr/amsallem/press.html