Frank French | More American Souvenirs

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Jazz: Ragtime Latin: General Moods: Type: Instrumental
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More American Souvenirs

by Frank French

American and Latin American style piano solos including Ragtime, Jazz, Blues, Terra Verde.
Genre: Jazz: Ragtime
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Belle of Louisville
3:20 album only
2. Honky Tonk Music
3:43 album only
3. Don't Jazz Me
3:36 album only
4. The Crave
3:16 album only
5. Mississippi Brown Eyes
5:05 album only
6. Labirinto
3:19 album only
7. Texas Fox Trot
4:55 album only
8. Hilarity Rag
2:47 album only
9. At Midnight
7:43 album only
10. Vem Ca Branquinha
2:50 album only
11. Memories of a Missouri Confederate
4:50 album only
12. Levee Revels
4:00 album only
13. The Alaskan
4:55 album only
14. Ouro Sobre Azul
5:28 album only
15. Climax Rag
3:14 album only


Album Notes
Frank French was born in Oakland, 1952 and grew up in San Francisco's Haight Ashbury district. A survivor of the Psychedelic 1960's, he became part of the city's "outside" music scene in the early 1970's while completing his musical education at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and San Francisco State University.

It was during this time that he became acquainted with Cuban and Porto Rican dance music as pianist with "Papo y su Preferida", noting the immediate connection between Antillean music and piano Ragtime.

Moving to Vienna, Austria in the late 1970's he assumed the lifestyle of a Bohemian, tuning pianos by day and bolstering Vienna's counter-cultural cabaret scene by night. Teaming up with Latin Americans living there, he formed one of the earliest Salsa bands in Central Europe,
introducing the music to Austrians, Swiss and Germans, and paving the way for noted performers like Ray Baretto to make debut performances in that part of the world. During his Austrian residence he also found time to record the entire Well-Tempered Clavier of J.S. Bach, thus
securing a firm footing in the music of both the Old and New Worlds.

Returning to the United States in 1983 he became a noted figure in the world of syncopated piano music, first as a performer and later as composer of such notable and widely- recorded instrumentals as Belle of Louisville and Backdown Buck. Moving to Colorado in 1990, he founded and directed the Rocky Mountain Ragtime Festival and Institute working as a musical activist in schools, community concerts, radio and community television. In 1996 he visited Cuba
with the Pianos to Havana project and subsequently concertized in Cuba and the United States raising funds to send pianos and technical support to music schools in Cuba and to improve relations between people of both nations.

Frank French espouses the Creole Tradition of the melting pot of cultures in the music of the New World, especially that of the United States, the Carribean and Brazil. As a composer, teacher, and performer he continues to emphasize progressive assimilation of musical and cultural
concepts in order to create an aesthetic and societal texture in which the whole is greater than
the sum of the parts. His teaching seminars include both introductory and hands-on sessions for all ages and all levels.



to write a review


Great in every way
Great mix - modern and classic; American and Latin; well known and seldom heard tunes all played with tremendous skill and talent.

Robert Schwieger

Excellent Selection of Rags and Tangos
'More American Souvenirs' is a worthy addition to any personal library of American music. Frank French plays all of the pieces with sensitivity and skill. The selection covers a wide area of styles. Particularly nice are French's renditions of his own 'Belle of Louisville', Guion's 'Texas Fox Trot' and Lamb's extraordinarily beautiful 'Alaskan Rag'. Nazareth's 'Labirinto' is one of my favortie tangos, and French also plays it well. The whole CD is filled with wonderful, relaxing music. Overall, a superb effort.

William Schaffer - The Mississippi Rag

French is a pursuasive, highly lyrical pianist...
?This is an elegant, thoughtful compilation Of piano ragtime and ragtime-related music, much with
a distinct "Spanish tinge." Thee title word “American” does not mean simply "US.- Brazil is
represented by three diverse pieces by Ernesto Nazareth the latest sensation to catch the ears of
the ragtime subculture.

French is . is a persuasive, highly lyrical pianist a wide net for material, including several- 'Jelly
Roll Morton compositions , "The Crave or little-heard "Honky Tonk Music" culled from the 1938
library of Congress sessions), James Scott 'Don't Jazz Me," 'Hilarity Rag.' .'Climax Rag') and a
sampling of contemporary ragtime (two by David Thomas Roberts, "Mississippi Brown Eyes" an
"Memories of a Missouri Confederate' " Hal Isbitz”s “At Midnight, and Freiich's own "Belle of
Louisville .

The session is brilliantly recorded and French displays throughout deep emotional strength. He
treats James Scott an the essentially sunny, 'ebullient polyphoniist he was with especially energetic
and lively versions of "Hilarity Rag" and "Climax Rag," two of Scott’s most effective and
characteristic rags He also shapes the Morton works carefully, pinning down their slightly
sinister moodiness. He clearly admires the folk-rag angularity of Robert's lyrical works and the
stately luster of two earlier regional raffia, David Guion's "Texas Fox Trot of 1915 and William
Christopher O”hare's 1898 cakewalk, "Levee Revels."

The Nazareth compositions are more difficult to assess. Nazareth (186&1934) was a skilled
Brazilian pianist-composer-conductor whose career roughly parallel with James Scotts or Artie
Matthews makes an extremely interesting addition to the repertory of American music, Nazareth
began publishing piano compositions at 14, collected folk music ideas and forms, studied
Joplin and Gottschalk and wrote over 300 piano pieces that largely defined dance forms like the
tango, the mixixi, the carrioca.. He worked as a s movie theater musician (Hector Villa Loboa
played cello in his orchestra)'and became a protean national figure, halfway between European
classical models and the raw folk music of the choros or street bands.

This CD is an interesting and carefully chosen anthology of American music, and French succeeds
on most takes in making music that stands on its own but also resonates in intriguing ways.
Highly recommended!.