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Ballads & Burners

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Album Review

Solo jazz piano is one of the toughest tests of ability, but Dave Frank shines throughout these studio sessions, focusing mostly on his multifaceted originals, mixing ballads and sizzling uptempo works. His impressionist ballads "Rousseau's World" and "Shades of Renoir" were indeed inspired by master painters, where Bill Evans' lyrical influence is audible at times. "The Mechanization of America" is described as a "retro-boogie," with an intense left-handed vamp and percussive melodic line that makes it the perfect soundtrack for a film on the subject. The abstract improvisation "Salvador Dali in a State of Grace" has a mysterious, somewhat eerie quality, capped by an unresolved ending. "Allied Forces," dedicated to the World War II D-Day invasion force of June 6, 1944, suggests the mental challenges that soldiers face rather than the actual battles themselves. The one standard is a driving interpretation of "It's Alright with Me," as Frank shows off his chops in a furious workout.

Ballads & Burners, Dave Frank
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