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Franck Amsallem: Sings, Vol. II

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Algerian-born, French-raised and Paris-based, Franck Amsallem spent close to three decades establishing himself as a fine pianist with a dense, bright style that suggests equal parts Keith Jarrett and Bill Charlap. Then, five years ago, he decided to follow in the footsteps of Nat Cole and Diana Krall, releasing Amsallem Sings. Clearly one for plainspoken titles, he now adds Sings, Vol. II.

Cole and Krall proved, of course, preternaturally gifted vocalists. Amsallem is not. Reminiscent of another instrumentalist who dabbled with vocals, Chet Baker, his voice is thin and slightly atonal. As with Baker, it’s a voice that takes some getting used to, yet grows increasingly captivating over time.

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