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Franck Amsallem: Years Gone By

This album has a European flavor. Recorded in France, it features the leader on piano, Tim Ries on tenor and soprano saxophone, Riccardo Del Fra on bass, and Daniel Humair on drums. The music is full of flowing impressionism reminiscent of the Keith Jarrett-Jan Garbarek alliance of the mid-’70s. There are also darker, heavier performances that evoke John Coltrane and McCoy Tyner. But in general throughout the album, the musicians’ expressiveness derives from the European rhapsodic tradition more than from the American blues tradition. Amsallem composed six of the album’s seven tunes. Ries composed the other.

The pianist and the saxophonist-gifted technicians and composer-like embellishers and improvisers-face an originality problem common to many post-’60s jazz musicians. It seems that intellectual solutions to performance are easier to find than an original voice. This criticism aside, this album should especially please fans of the ECM school of jazz.

Originally Published