Franck Amsallem "Gotham Goodbye"
Franck Amsallem "Gotham Goodbye"
jazz&people, the leading French crowdfunded jazz label, is proud to present "Gotham Goodbye", the new album of the pianist Franck Amsallem.
Goodbye Gotham, bonjour Paris… In evocation of twenty highly productive years in New York, Franck Amsallem has recorded an album as a sort of adieu to the American megalopolis, and asserts with a brilliant quartet that jazz as he conceives it can be played just as well in Paris now.
Having gone to study in the United States in 1981, obtaining his diploma at the Berklee College of Music two years later, Franck Amsallem spent two decades as a professional jazz musician in New York, where he played with many of the greats, led his own groups, and recorded a series of acclaimed albums with major jazz musicians. For twenty years the Big Apple nourished, inspired, overwhelmed, transported, exhausted him. The permanent creativity keeping pace with the urban intensity, the pressures of a city that never sleeps combined with the necessity of making a living, the density of the number of musicians and the level required, all this contributed to shaping his technique, to forging his style and to inspiring his art. In 2001, exactly twenty years to the day when he first set foot on American soil, Franck Amsallem made the decision to return to France, without disavowing what his years in New York had given him.
Having become well established on the Parisian scene since then, Franck Amsallem assumes his role in jazz in France today while remaining strongly attached to the values he learned in the United States and the way in which jazz survives there, and is firmly rooted in tradition without being confined by it, combining a spirit of play with collective energy, the taking of risks in improvisation with a certain instrumental excellence. After two albums of standards in which he explored his talents as a singer, his new album «Gotham Goodbye » features original compositions, signaling his return to a leading position in French jazz.
Inspired by the international quartet of younger musicians he has selected and who prove their engagement in this music and with whom he is proud to share his experience, he has devised an entirely new repertoire of original compositions, comparable to those that made his reputation at the beginning of the 1990’s, and consistent with the formal preoccupations that inspire jazz players and improvisers in Paris as in New York today.
From odd metrics to revamped latin rhythms, from lyrical compostions to funky grooves, intense ballads to straight-ahead swing, dream-like moods to dizzying unisons and without forgetting a quirky blues, «Gotham Goodbye » showcases a series of works that are far removed from simple pretexts for improvisation but worlds in themselves, and invested with the personalities of those inhabiting them : the tenor saxophonist Irving Acao who’s playing is both voluptuous and fleet, gifted with a tone of remarkable richness, and who reveals himself to be a soloist with formidable phrasing ; providing a dynamic foundation for the group, Viktor Nyberg imposes himself as a bassist with an ironclad presence ; the vivacity of Gautier Garrigues’s drumming never alters his sense of colors, ever eager to swing while kicking the collective play with his confidence and his impulses.
Driving this high-flying quartet as much as he challenges and stimulates it, Franck Amsallem reminds us just what a formidable pianist he is, combining in a personal style the influence of greats from Bud Powell to Keith Jarrett by way of Thelonious Monk, Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea. His touch biting or sensual, incisive in attack but unpredictable in his phrasing, he transforms each solo into a highlight.
In the Press:
« A strong, forthright pianist personality » (Down Beat)
« Franck Amsallem’s bold, brightly colored interpretations are unique » (Jazz Times)
Watch the video of the title theme filmed during the recording session:
The musicians :
Franck Amsallem : Obtained a diploma from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, studied composition with Bob Brookmeyer. Franck Amsallem, born in in Oran in 1961, raised in Nice, lived for twenty years in the United States where he accompanied musicians such as Gerry Mulligan, Harry Belafonte and Charles Lloyd, and recorded several albums, the first with Gary Peacock and Bill Stewart. He has also recorded a homage to Billy Strayhorn with Stéphane Belmondo and Elisabeth Kontomanou, and was featured in the series « At Barloyd’s » released by jazz&people.
Irving Acao: Tenor saxophonist Irving Acao studied music and launched his career in Cuba, where he collaborated with the flutist Maraca Valle and the pianist Chucho Valdes,
with whom he recorded the album « New Conceptions » (Blue Note), and played with Roy Hargrove. Now living in France, he works regularly with jazz musicians as well as playing Afro-Caribbean music (Ray Lema, David Murray, Jimmy Cliff), and also leads his own quartet.
Viktor Nyberg : The Swedish bassist, born in 1989, studied at the Royal Conservatory in Stockholm, at North Texas University and at the CSNM in Paris. He has quickly become one of the most in-demand musicians on the Parisian jazz scene. He plays very regularly in Gaël Horellou’s group with Ari Hoenig, with Alex Tassel, the singer Julie Erikssen, the pianist Jacky Terrasson, and with Laurent Coq and Julien Lourau’s Saïgon quartet. He has also started a trio with the pianist Peter Martin and the drummer Ulysses Owens.
Gautier Garrigue : Ever since moving to Paris in 2002 from his native Perpignan (where he was born in 1987), his talents as a drummer have made him a key figure on the scene and he has become an essential participant in a multitude of groups, working with Sophie Alour and with Henri Texier, the Gil Evans Paris Workshop of Laurent Cugny and Seamus Blake’s French Quartet, as well as working regularly with leading groups on the Paris jazz scene such as Flash Pig, the David Enhco Quartet or The Drops.
- From Two to Five (5’45)
- A Night in Ashland (7’05)
- Gotham Goodbye (6’41)
- Last Night When We Were Young (5’42)
- Baton Rouge (4’22)
- Standard Form (7’01)
- In Memoriam (8’16)
- From Twelve to Four (5’46)
- Hamsa (7’14)
All compositions by Franck Amsallem (except 4 by Harold Arlen & Yip Harburg).
Franck Amsallem, piano
Irving Acao, ténor saxophone
Viktor Nyberg, double bass
Gautier Garrigue, drums
Recorded at Studio Sextan by Alban Sautour.
Cover picture by Philippe Lévy-Stab.
Graphic design by Olivier Linden.
(Translation : Jerome Reese)
Waar dient de collecte voor
The album has been recorded, mixed and mastered. Only one step remains in order for it to see the light of day. For that, we need your support.
Launched by the journalist and curator Vincent Bessières, jazz&people is a breeding-ground label that welcomes projects from creative musicians and helps them come to fruition through crowdfunding. It mobilizes music lovers through a responsible approach that gives precedence to the direct relationship between the artists and those who listen to them. This is the reason we are asking you for your generous financial support.
The collected contributions will be used to pay for :
- the SDRM (mechanical rights of authors, composers and editors) : 1000€
- those who contributed to the fabrication of the album (graphic designer, translator, photographer, illustrateur) : 1500€
- printing the album in CD format (1000 CDs) : 1200 €
- promoting the album : 1000€
- KissKissBankBank commissions : 300 €
The monies collected for sales of the album by jazz&people will be given 100% to the Franck Amsallem's Gotham Goodbye project (other than the commissions taken by the crowdfunding platform).
If the campaign is a success, the album will be released at the autumn 2019.
The participants will receive their rewards in the days preceding the release, discovering the album avant-première!
following the fundraising, we have more than the necessary amount? Then we will have more resources to promote this music and to make it visible.
And if we don’t reach our goal? Then the project collapses!
And with the development of the music offered on streaming sites (from which musicians make almost no money), not many people feel like paying for music anymore. By giving your support now you are making a militant act, because you allow this album to come to light without making the artists take risks, as they have already invested a lot of time and money. If this crowdfunding project reaches its goal, you will get other benefits in addition to receiving the album before its release date.
The artists need you. But we need artists even more.
Thanks in advance for your generosity and your support.