HALL OF FAME
"The Artt Of Wistful Jazz"
"In a day and age when music truly stirring and innovative are rare or nonexistent realities, it is inspiring to hear what all-star bop drummer Artt Frank can contribute to the jazz ensemble and its history. Refreshing and inspiring hardly begin to explain the enriching portrait that Artt predominately creates. Both his solos and steady brushwork are in fact flawless and beguiling. Clear, precise and steady, Artt makes the voice of his drums range in tones from a whisper to bursts of emotional rainbows.
"The drums are rarely, if ever, thought of as both a percussion and melodic instrument, but in the hands of Artt Frank who so deftly and magically arches pathways between all the instruments, his drums become both. Artt's innate sense of melody add to the swinging and subtle poetry creating shadows and light with his brushstrokes across the musical canvas. Enhancing the pulsating heartbeat of a song undulating with breath, rhythm and infectious tonality, Artt's assured, swift and delving hands never cease to amaze the true jazz aficionado.
"Artt Frank is a musician steeped in midnight balladry and deep nights' bursting life rhythms. Through his instrument one can feel his wild, impeccably-tuned imagination which is so drenced in his GOD-given "feel" for jazz (be-bop). Listen carefully and you will hear the same master craftsman who so beautifully and ably provided the expressive foundation for the great Chet Baker's fluglehorn and trumpet during their years together. Artt Frank truly adds further intensity to the heartchords that begin to resonate in your soul, whether he swings lightly with great skill or creates tone poems during the interplay of a sensitive ballad. In the uniuque hands of Artt Frank drums and musical reality assumes new meaning.
"Artt is as much at home playing intricate triplets, straight-ahead 4/4 bop, exploring a jazz samba, leaning into half-time or immersing himself and your heart in the haunting refrains of a lovely jazz ballad. Time signatures have never been a problem for Artt for he has the key tucked away in his soul. In fact, his drumwork is never overpowering but rather can be razor sharp to illuminate the other instruments or can caress the other soloists to sensually deepen the warmth of the composition. I have followed the music of Artt Frank and Chet Baker and their all-star jazz bands for many, many years (in person). And I know that Artt is one of those gifted and RARE drummers who, while improvising a solo, can firmly hold the essential rhythm in place with his use of sticks or brush strokes that add not only drive to the tune, but color, texture and depth of tonality, infusing the song with continual new life. This is what it means to truly be an artist." -- Written by Tony Mattiaccio, April 28, 2003
"My whole philosopy of music is to build a spiritual unity in sound. If an audience becomes a part of that unity, if only for a few minutes, then I have accomplished what I have set out to do. This is my way of sharing with others all the wonderful gifts that GOD has bestowed upon me. In my compositions, this unity is expressed through lyricism. A melody that can be understood, felt and shared is a very powerful thing as is the sharing that we show in love for one another - a spiritual unity coming down from, and ascending up to the FATHER of LIGHTS who gives it continuously when you ask."
"Only God knows what my future holds. I want to continue to compose meaningful music, such as haunting ballads, jazz waltz, sambas, and God willing I shall. I also hope to record more CD's and do live jazz concerts, as well as to help budding jazz musicians with promise to gain important exposure, and to the best of my ability love everyone, as YESHUA commanded, and to be there for any one who may need me."
The Artt Frank Jazz Ensemble -- "In The Moment", 2004
This swinging CD was recorded in early Spring 2004 and introduces seven new original compositions by Artt and co-composer Graham Bruce.
Artt Frank, drums; Harold Danko, piano; Phil Bowler, bass; Graham Bruce, trumpet / flugelhorn; Ken Barry, tenor sax; Matt Criscuolo, alto sax; with guest artists Tony Lombardozzi, guitar; vocalists Giacomo Gates and Yvonne Kauffman; and Earla Porch.
The music on this CD is straight ahead authentic bop. "The whole concept behind this," according to Artt, "was to recapture the long, lost sound and personal intimacy of playing in the small cramped nightclubs of the late '40's and early '50's around New York City, and bring it to lilfe on recording. To do that, I had to find a smalll studio with good acoustics, and which had no isolated booths or baffles. I found such a place but there were drawbacks. The studio didn't have a piano. I wanted that special ambiance, so I had an upright piano brought in and had it placed in the center of the room and had each musician stand close beside it, with the bass and drums just a few feet away. We didn't rehearse the tunes because I wanted everything to be spontaneous -- as it would be in a club setting. I kicked off each tune and these cats just smoked! Every tune was done in a single take except for the Matt Criscuolo composition, 'Julian,' which was done in the second take.
"Listening to the playback, I was absolutely pleased with the musicianship and the results. I achieved what I wanted... that warm-up-close and personal sound of being in a small New York City jazz club of the past, and playing, In The Moment!"
Though he cannot read a single note of music, Artt has composed nearly 50 beautiful songs beginning with a jazz waltz called "Waltz For Sharon Stone," which is now a popular CD. When asked how he was able to accomplish this without his having any knowledge of how to read music, he replied that he believed it was because of his deep love and faith in almighty GOD and YESHUA (Jesus) that he was given the wonderful gift to create beautifullly haunting melodies. "There is just no other answer," he said.
Artt went on to say that he composes music by humming the melody into a recorder, then sends it to his pianist friends and co-composers, Charles Loos, Nic Bariluk, Graham Bruce, Harold Danko, Matt Criscuolo, Phil Urso, Ken Barry, and most recently, Rob Boone. Artt's melodies fall into the category of romantic jazz, and a number of them would be ideal for motion picture soundtrack themes. He feels very strongly that he was put on earth to play drums and to write beautiful romantic music. And, God willing, he will.
COMPOSITIONS TO DATE BY ARTT FRANK Always Together (ballad) Artt Frank / Graham Bruce Arttwork (bop) Artt Frank / Nic Bariluk A Few Bucks Ahead (bop) Artt Frank / Nic Bariluk Afterglow Of Love (ballad) Artt and Lisa Frank / Graham Bruce Ali (ballad) Lisa and Artt Frank / Charles Loos Brothers (ballad) Artt and Lisa Frank / Graham Bruce Bru's Waltz (jazz waltz) Artt Frank / Rob Boone Brosamba (samba) Artt Frank / Graham Bruce Carol Ann (ballad) Artt Frank / Graham Bruce Casa de Cisne (House of Swan) (the marriage samba) Artt Frank /
Christmastime All Year (romantic Christmas ballad) Artt Frank / Nic Bariluk / Tony Purrone Dave and Iola (ballad) Artt Frank / Rob Boone Does It Matter (ballad) Artt Frank / Harold Danko Don't Cry When You Lose (ballad) Artt Frank / Earla Frank 18th and Vine (bop) Artt Frank / Chris Clarke Eyes Of A Child (ballad) Lisa and Artt Frank / Graham Bruce For Pete's Sake (bop) Artt Frank / Rob Boone Great Scott (calypso) Artt and Lisa Frank / Graham Bruce It's Over Now (ballad) Artt Frank / Earla Frank Jack and Lucille (romantic jazz waltz) Artt Frank / Matt Criscuolo
Jim's Song (bop) Artt Frank / Warren Chiasson
Kathy's Groove (samba) Artt Frank / Graham Bruce Kelly's Hope (ballad) Artt Frank / Graham Bruce Keeping Bebop Alive (bop) Artt Frank / Nic Bariluk Leah's Waltz (jazz waltz) Artt Frank / Graham Bruce Lisa Lea (jazz waltz) Artt Frank / Nic Bariluk Liebway (Bop) Artt Frank / Phil Urso / Graham Bruce Lonely Walk -- Memories of Chet (sad ballad) Artt Frank / Graham Bruce Love and Spaghetti (jazz waltz) Artt Frank / Nic Bariluk Lullaby for Roan (classical) Artt Frank / Matt Criscuolo Most of All (bop) Artt Frank / Rob Boone Nenette (jazz waltz) Artt Frank / Ken Barry On The Heath (bop) Artt Frank / Graham Bruce
Refuge (sad ballad) Artt Frank / Joe Cartwright Rhonda Joy (jazz waltz) Artt Frank / Graham Bruce Rob and The Cradle (bop) Artt Frank / Rob Boone
Samba En Volandros ("Samba In The Air") Artt Frank / Graham Bruce Samba Jan (samba) Artt Frank / Graham Bruce Sam Is The Most (bop) Artt Frank / Rob Boone Saundering (samba / bossa) Artt Frank / Graham Bruce Song For My Mother (sad ballad) Artt Frank / Nic Bariluk Seventh Day (ballad) Artt Frank / Nic Bariluk Shirley (ballad) Artt Frank / Nic Bariluk Sisters (jazz waltz) Artt Frank / Nic Bariluk Sonny And Lucille (samba) Artt Frank / Rob Boone
Sonnyside Up (bop) Artt Frank / Rob Boone
Souvenir (sad ballad) Artt Frank / Graham Bruce That's Matt (bop) Artt Frank / Graham Bruce The Scene's McLean (bop) Artt Frank / Graham Bruce
Waitin' For Clayton (bop) Artt Frank / Ken Barry Waltz For Bert (jazz waltz) Artt Frank / Graham Bruce Waltz For Sharon Stone (jazz waltz) Artt and Lisa Frank / Charles Loos Winter In July (bossa nova) Artt and Lisa Frank / Nic Bariluk
That Trio Thing -- Released in 2003 by MJA Records
Joe Cartwright, piano; Steve Rigazzi, bass; Artt Frank, drums
This CD was recorded on two separate occasions in Overland Park, Kansas, by tenor saxophonist / engineer Ken Barry, in the early summer of 2001, and completed in the late spring of 2002, when Artt returned to the area.
Three new tunes are introduced: "Refuge," a haunting ballad that reflects on the tragedy of 9/11, written by Artt and Joe; "Brosamba," a dark samba, by Artt and trumpeter Graham Bruce; and "Unit VI," by Joe for his son.
JOE CARTWRIGHT on the making of the CD: "This unique trio CD was recorded in a small piano recital hall as opposed to a recording studio. There was very little preparation and no rehearsal whatsoever. The sessions were very relaxed and loose, no pressure. This method of recording really emphasizes spontaneity and empathy. This is truly the essence of jazz.
"Artt's drum concept for this recording was to use brushes exclusively. It is rare to find a drummer that has such a wide range of colors and shading in his dynamic palette. Artt creates a masterpiece each time he paints with his brushes. He accomplishes this while swinging intensely. Artt, you are a master."
STEVE RIGAZZI on the making of the CD: "Artt's suggestion for this CD was to record, as he put it, 'without the use of a net.' Artt wanted us to do it virtually unrehearsed and completely fresh, which is exactly what we did. The interaction between the players; the dynamics and execution is what makes this recording unique. Artt speaks volumes with every swish of his brushes. Man, he can make a rusty gate swing!"
ARTT FRANK on the making of the CD: "Over the last fifty or so years I've been a part of some of the greatest rhythm sections ever formed and I must tell you, working with Joe Cartwright and Steve Rigazzi, is as good as it gets! The interplay between each of us.... The dynamics, rhythm, the point / counterpoint and shading -- it was uncanny, like we'd been together for years, instead of two nights, nine months apart. I sent my old friend, Dave Brubeck, a copy of the rough mix and he really liked it. He even wrote something about Joe and Steve. He felt they were very gifted musicians. You know what? I do too!"
The Artt Frank Quartet Live at the Aldrich Museum, Sweetheart Records, recorded in 1998.
Artt Frank, drums; Harold Danko, piano; Cameron Brown, bass and Rich Perry, tenor sax.
This concert marked the historical reunion of three world class jazz
musicians who hadn't played together in twenty-three years since working
together with Chet Baker. Artt Frank, Harold Danko and Cameron Brown
-- by Chet's own admission, the most potent rhythm section he had ever
History is made when unusual and extraordinary events take place, as was the case on the night of June 13, 1997 at the Aldrich Museum in Ridgefield, CT, when four master artists of jazz went up on the band stand to perform. Led by legendary bop drummer, Artt Frank, the group drew an SRO audience. Suzanne Ryan, music director of the Aldrich Museum, was ecstatic: "I've never seen anything like it. We were completely sold out and streams of people kept coming. They were in the lobby, on the terrace, and out in the parking lot. They wouldn't leave, even though it was raining out. They stayed to hear what they could."
This concert marked the historical reunion of three world class jazz musicians who hadn't played together in 23 years since they were working with Chet Baker. Artt Frank, Harold Danko and Cameron Brown were, by Chet's admission, the most potent rhythm section he'd ever worked with.
The following quotes were made by Chet Baker, during an interview I conducted with him at Stryker's Pub in NYC in 1974: "Artt's been with me since my comeback in Hollywood in 1968. I love the way he plays, man. 'Specially the way he plays brushes. Shelly (Manne) was great too... but he didn't have Artt's transmission... you know... ? Artt's the only cat I know who can play brushes at stick level, and at any tempo! Then there's Harold (Danko), and Cameron (Brown), and those three cats are the most swingin', sensitive and supportive players I've ever worked with. And for the way I play here (Stryker's pub), in a club format, I like to stretch out and do a lot of burnin' tempos. And it's a great comfort to know those three cats are always there. They make it easy for me to respond. It's real comfortable man, you know....?"
Though Chet wasn't present on this night, we had in Rich Perry that eloquent lyricism that was so prevalent in Chet's playing, resident in Rich's performance.
What you, the listener, will hear, is the pure sound of Jazz... mistakes included... exactly as it was performed... a vibrant, living sound which places the listener right there in the audience and on the bandstand with us.
The gifted and award winning pianist, Harold Danko, is one of very few who can successfully combine strength and delicacy in his approach to the piano. His conceptions are drawn from a deep well of creativity. Experimenting with time, chordal structures and rhythmic interplay, Harold always surprises and entrances his audience, as this recording so well attests.
The robust tone of Cameron Brown on bass completes this happening rhythm section. Cameron is one of the most prodigiously skilled and inventive bass players in the history of jazz. And certainly the most expressive bassist on the scene today. Listening to Cameron, Harold and Artt play, you think of an intricate ballet -- that's how tight their time, rhythm and ideas are. Their counterpoint and use of dynamics is electrifying and magical.
Complementing the rhythm section is the swingin', understated soul of Rich Perry on tenor sax. He composes lines of sheer beauty every time he picks up his horn and plays. Playing way behind the beat, Rich displays his technical mastery and introspective nature as he digs deep into each tune and adds a rounded, abstract quality to music. Artt Frank calls Rich Perry the most thought provoking tenor sax player in the world today. I agree. I then asked Artt who his favorite tenor players were, and he cited Sonny Rollins as first of his four all time personal favorite tenor players... with Dexter Gordon, Phil Urso, and Rich Perry being the other three. Making his way into Artt's all-time number five spot is son-in-law, Ken Barry... a young thirty-five-year old player who plays with the lyricism and melodicism of the aforementioned legends. Ken can be heard on Artt's last three CD projects. "Souvenir," "Artt Frank Live At The Aldrich II," and the new soon-to-be-released "Artt Frank Jazz Ensemble: In The Moment."
Matt Criscuolo, the 25 year old guest alto saxophonist whom Artt called up to play, confessed to having butterflies over the prospect of playing with, as he put it, "those heavy hitters." He turned out to be a good foil for Rich Perry, with his biting tone and edgy approach Matt is heard on "Line for Lyons", and "Tidal Breeze".
I asked the talented young saxophonist, Matt Criscuolo, a few questions after the concert. He told me about the guidance and encouragement Artt had given him as a player. He is quick to point out that Artt has helped him immensely with his phrasing and speaks of him in glowing terms. "Artt is the most giving man I know. He's taken a lot of time to get personally involved with me and other younger players. If you asked me to describe Artt in one word. I couldn't. I'd have to use two - Love and Giving. And with Artt, the two are one." Listen, and you can hear it come out in the music. I sure did. -- Pete Colby
Pat Morrissey / Artt Frank: Souvenir, released in 1999, MJA Records label
This CD was recorded in early 1999, and features some of Artt's original compositions along with new arrangements of standards that were favorites of Chet Baker.
Pat Morrissey, who has recently passed away and will be deeply missed by his friends, relatives, and fans, plays trumpet, along with Ken Barry on tenor sax and flute, his wife Kathy Frank playing drums on one selection, pianist Harold Danko, and bassist Phil Bowler: Harold, Phil, and Artt were one of Chet's favorite rhythm sections to work with.
Artt Frank notes, "Ken's playing is so reminiscent of Chet Baker, even though Chet played trumpet and flugelhorn, the similarity in their playing is astounding when you consider that Chet always played with simplicity, yet with so much great lyricism -- and he blew the greatest long tones of anyone in jazz history. When listening to Chet and Ken's playing, you seem to be carried constantly upward, as an eagle soars on a thermal draft. Chet, I feel, would have absolutely loved to have played in ensemble with Kenny because Chet always loved to have someone of equal lyrical ability to play counterpoint with. As an example, listen to Kenny's poignant lines on my Souvenir and Carol Ann, written for Chet's widow."
Artt Frank presents Chris Clarke -- "From The Heart", MJA RECORDS -- Recorded in Kansas City, Mo. in 2000
This CD presents Artt's latest discovery -- jazz pianist Chris Clarke, and also showcases several wonderfully talented Kansas City musicians as well.
Tim Perryman, trombone; Gerald Dunn, alto sax; Josh Sclar, tenor sax; the late great Pat Morrissey, trumpet; James Ward and Tyrone Clark, bass; Donivan Bailey, Mike Warren, and Artt Frank, drums; Tommy Stewart, percussion; and mainstay of the Artt Frank ensemble, Ken Barry, tenor sax and soprano sax.
This CD features three of Artt's latest compositions. A pure bop tune entitled "18th and Vine," which pays honor to Kansas City's historic jazz district. Melody and lyrics by Artt and the harmonic chord changes were written by Chris Clarke. Artt also pays tribute to the wives of two jazz immortals, Carol, widow of Chet Baker, and Nenette, widow of Bill Evans. The jazz waltz, "Nenette," was co-written by son-in-law Ken Barry and his wife (Artt's daughter) Kathy Frank-Barry, and Lisa L. Frank. The poignant ballad, "Carol Ann," was composed by Artt and trumpeter Graham Bruce.
Waltz for Sharon Stone, Released in 1998, a jazz ensemble, MJA Records label
This is a showcase for six of Artt's original compositions. The title track pays honor to the famous actress for her charitable work at Planet Hope, an organization that helps the homeless.
This music is straight ahead romantic jazz, with a highly textured rich sound that includes renowned Viennese violinist Rudy Berger, tenor sax player Rich Perry, flutist Ali Ryerson, pianist co-composer Nik Bariluk, bassist Phil Bowler and Matt Criscuolo on alto sax.
Two Legends Of Bop -- due for release in 2003
This CD is a live jazz performance recorded in New Haven, Connecticut sponsored by Jazz Haven, a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of jazz. Featuring co-leaders Artt Frank and saxophonist, composer/educator and leader of the Woody Herman Big Band, Frank Tiberi. Other musicians include renowned pianist Harold Danko and the incredible bassist, Phil Bowler.
Looking for the Light, a Tribute to Chet Baker - Recorded in 1993
This CCB CD features favorite tunes, of Chet and the sparkling Chet Baker rhythm section of the 80's. Dave Liebman plays brilliant soprano sax, along with Artt, Phil Markowitz on piano, Dennis Irwin on bass and Billy Dowling on trumpet.
Chet Baker Live at Buffalo, CCB RECORDS, 1984
Chet Baker, trumpet; Sal Nistico, tenor sax; Lorne Lofsky, guitar; Artt Frank, drums and Chris Connors, bass. Recorded at the Renaissance II in 1984.
Artt Frank Quartet, Dig Records, 1979
Steve Veikley, trumpet; Ed Fiarenza, tenor sax; Mike Dooner, piano; Artt Frank, drums and Bruce Gertz, bass.
CCB RECORDS plans to release a number of live performance recordings of Chet with Artt on drums, beginning with Chet's historical comeback performance in Hollywood, Ca. in 1968. These will be known as The HISTORIC / ARCHIVAL SERIES -- truly a collectors item.
Chet Baker Quartet, "Burnin' at Backstreet" -- CCB RECORDS, 1980
Chet Baker, trumpet, vocal; Drew Salperto, piano; Artt Frank, drums; Mike Formanek, bass. Recorded live at the Club Backstreet in 1980
Chet's solo work is awesomely incredible -- pure bop playing. He and
Artt are on fire -- both are smokin'! It's like a world tennis championship
match -- Artt serves and Chet vollies, and vice versa. Chet's opening
statement on "Stella by Starlight" has to be considered by
far... the most creative run of notes in the history of jazz... and
Artt's brushwork seethes: at the same time, sensitive and supportive.
He knows precisely when and where to push Chet. Great CD!!
Some of the musicians with whom Artt has performed in the past 57 years:
Joe Di Orio
Richard ‘Groove’ Holmes
Roni Ben Hur
J J Johnson
Phil Moore III
"Chet had a million and one acquaintances -- but really, only three or four close personal friends that he liked and trusted enough to confide in, as well as to invite into our private family life. Artt Frank was one of them. Chet and Artt got along famously and their friendship grew strong over the years. Chet liked the way Artt played. He felt Artt was a swinging drummer who was also very sensitive. And I believe that Chet used him more than any other drummer over the years because he felt most drummers were too damn busy or too damn loud! And he didn't like that. He liked Artt because of his timekeeping, placement and threadneedle brushwork. He felt that Artt was a totally spontaneous drummer who played in the moment and didn't have to rely on technical or practiced licks. And to Chet, that's what pure improvisation is all about.
"Artt's been a close friend of the Baker family for over 35 years. He was there during all the 'downtimes' and also the 'uptimes'. He's always been there for us! After Chet's untimely death in May 1988 -- all those who claimed to be Chet's friends, stopped calling in the first week after his burial. But Artt called and he continues to call me at least once every week. Chet is ever alive in Artt's heart just as he is in mine." -- Carol Baker
"Artt Frank looks insistently forward with energy, breaking the shackles of musical restraints. He's a hard swinger, with tons of experience and tradition which equal total artistry every time he sits behind a drum set. What a vivid drummer and jazz pace setter! Few can match Artt Frank for the sheer beauty of his compositions. He is setting new standards-both as a composer and drummer-which mark him as a unique jazz artist and legend. This man is a gift to jazz!" Tim Price -- Saxophone Journal, and Jazz Artist -author and clinician
"Artt is the real shit, man. His groove is so rooted!" Phil Markowitz, jazz pianist
"Artt Frank is one of those few cats who 'play in the moment.'" Warren Chaisson, vibraphonist
"You're a little raw -- but you got good time and you know where to put things (accents, fills) -- placement." Charlie Parker on Artt's drumming at age 17 at the Royal Roost Club in NYC, 1949: and, "Yeah... yeah... Now you're sweepin' the store clean, man!" Charlie Parker on Artt's drumming two years later, NYC, 1951
"You go upstairs, you go downstairs... No matter where you go musically, Artt's playing is always in the pocket!" Al Cohn, legendary tenor saxophonist
"Artt's the egg that holds the mix together." Phillip Moore III, jazz pianist / composer
"You play so sensitively, man. You'll do just fine. Just fine." Comments made by Billie Holiday to Artt on the memorable night he worked with her in 1955
"Artt's a pure bop drummer. Plain and simple. He's for real, man." Harold Danko, jazz pianist / composer / educator
"Artt Frank is a metronomic monster back there - he becomes one with the drum kit." Herb Snitzer, former Metronome & Downbeat vice president
"Artt Frank is a drummer who is felt rather than heard. Knowing how to whisper and precisely when to shout. Engaging!" Leonard Feather, jazz writer and critic
"Smokin' Smokin' Smokin'! Artt creates both spark and fire, man!" Sal Nistico on Artt's drumming
"Artt's brushwork is seething, pulsating, threadneedle, engaging. His stickwork, driving, pulling and explosive, He's very compelling to see and hear." Edward Marquez, Entertainment News, West Los Angeles
"Artt really stirs the soup back there." Jimmy Heath, legendary composer, player
"Artt is the drummer's drummer. Give Artt a pair of brushes or sticks
and he'll make a garbage can cover sound like the most expensive snare
drum. This cat swings." Teddy Kotick, former bassist with
Charlie Parker, Horace Silver and Bill Evans, and
two years with Artt Frank's quintet
drumming is totally unique compared to the drummers of today simply
because he is a product of the bop era and that affords him absolute
credibility." Giacomo Gates, recording artist
"Artt Frank's drumming is most engaging and compelling." Fred Buchard, Downbeat Magazine
is wonderful music. Thank you very much. I told Michelle after about
2 seconds that it was you on drums. No question. I love your energy
and committment.........and the way you bring the best out of your brothers.
What a thang!" Bassist Dennis Woodrich
"The drummer in any jazz group is a pivotal figure. He must be aware of melody, rhythm, dynamics, timbre, structure. He must be supportive and sensitive to the mood of others in the group, and ready to erupt when it is his turn to solo. Artt Frank, a veteran bop drummer, who has played with such monumental jazz artists as Charlie Parker, Sonny Stitt, Bud Powell, and Chet Baker has given students of drumming a complete guide in how to master the subtlities of that pivotal role, and still swing.
'When hearing you play on, "That Trio Thing," your playing was swinging yet unobtrusive! It reminded me of a time when Chet was having some trouble with his teeth and only played a few tunes on trumpet but sang wonderfully on some other songs. Again, you were very supportive. Because Chet was singing quite softly, it was amazing that you could swing so quietly behind him. Some very good percussionists can't or don't want to come down in volume, and if forced to,they seem to lose interest in what they are doing. I hope your health allows you to continue to play "in your own sweet way." Jazz legend Dave Brubeck
"Artt is the real deal-the feel, hits, kicks, most of all the
touch. He represents a way of playing that goes to the heart of jazz
drumming which is to support and enhance the soloist. Artt is living
history." David Liebman
"Artt's playing is so driving, fresh and 'in the moment' that it seems as though he conceived the idea a millesecond before its played. Its not in the least predictable!" Saxophonist Matt Criscuolo
"Artt is one of those unsung heros of the be bop era. He's an authentic bop drummer, who- without any formal education- knows all the ins and outs of this particular style. The music pours out of his heart- He's a great time-keeper, someone who can make a dead man wiggle his toes. His beat pushes the music forwards constantly, without speeding up the tempo. And while doing all that, he's able to react on anything that's happening around him. He can be firm with the sticks and subtle with the brushes, but also subtle with sticks and firm with brushes; he can swing without making a lot of noise, without raising his voice. All this made him the drummer Chet Baker loved to work with when he started his comeback around 1969."Jeroen de Valk, "Chet Baker, his life and his music"-Berkeley Hills Books
"It's great that Artt Frank has put his thoughts and ideas on jazz music and drumming into a book. Its important for the next generation to be able to share the experience and knowledge Artt had accumulated in his many years as a sensitive and swinging jazz artist." Dave Stryker, jazz guitarist
Bebop was never about the notes, recalls noted drummer -- Article in the Oct. 26th 2006 Tucson Citizen
"Artt Frank is one of the last of the 'real deal bebop drummers...a
living treasure ."
- Terri Lyne Carrington
"I always learn something from listening to and watching Artt play. The thing that comes through his music for me is the strength of his heart, playing for all he's worth."
- Todd Strait
"In the near future, few people will have the opportunity to see or study with those individuals whom I would call the real masters of jazz drumming. There are many great players today, but almost all lack the real credentials which include recording/performing with the legendary musicians responsible for creating jazz. Artt Frank fits all these criteria."
- Darren Lyons of Darren Lyons Quartet
"Artt's dynamics and ability to keep bands swinging, while at the same time not overpowering the soloist, are some of the techniques he demonstrates, while sharing from his vast experience as a session and live player."
- Aynsley Dunbar
"Artt's concept touches on an essential part of music-making - using the ear as well as the source for sound and ideas. Artt's playing embodies these principles, and reminds us that ear chops is the greatest technique a drummer can posses to realize truly creative playing."
- Jeff Brillinger, drummer for Chet Baker, John Pattitucci, Ken Peplowski
"If anyone has inherited Chet's musical soul, I would say it is Artt Frank."
- Ali Ryerson, Jazz Flutist for Billy Taylor, Kenny Barron, Stephane Grappelli, Art Farmer, Joe Beck
"Artt Frank doesn't just play drums: he plays music!"
- Stan Levey
"Drummer Artt Frank embodies a certain spirit...a love of melodic, swinging music which is the very essence of Jazz."
- Steve Davis, Jazz Trombonist (Art Blakey, Jackie McLean, Chick Corea)
"Artt is the master of the lost art of swinging hard while at the same time playing soft. He's always there supporting you but his playing never impinges upon your consciousness to distract you from soloing."
- Hal Galper, Jazz Pianist (Chet Baker, Cannonball Adderly, Phil Woods, Johnny Hodges, Art Blakey)
"Artt Frank is an extraordinary musician - a consummate bop drummer whose strong pulse can always be felt by the groups in which he performs; yet his sensitivity keeps him from overwhelming the ensemble's music. This combination of strength and delicacy has made him a favorite with many outstanding leaders, most notably Chet Baker, but also Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Sonny Stitt and Dexter Gordon."
- William Gottlieb, World-Renowned Jazz Photographer
"Artt Frank is right in the forefront among those innovators like Max Roach and Art Blakey. Anyone who could remain so long with such a discriminating musician as Chet Baker better be damn good."
- Herman Leonard, World-Renowned Jazz Photographer
"Artt Frank is a rare breed of natural musicians. He was born with a sense of swing and sensitivity."
- Bruce Gertz, Jazz Bassist (Gil Evans, Dave Brubeck, Lee Konitz, Joe Lovano, Danilo Perez, and Professor, Berklee School of Music, Boston)
"Artt, great website. Full of artistry and magic. I have always been a total Chet Baker-Artt Frank fan. Nobody can play the brushes with the soul as you. Your spirituality and love of life is uplifting. Peace be with you Artt." - Brad Hodges
"Artt- what a delight to hear and feel your brush playing. Its
all there- a great swingin' feel, a fat sound, melodic soloing, rhythmic
subtley, a variety of articulations, dynamics, the be bop vocabulary,
and a great samba feel. I really dig the feeling of INTENSITY that underlies
everything you play- be it a sweep, a tap, a slap, or a WHAP! Thanks
for the inspiration.- I know my brush playing just got a little better."
Jeff Brillinger - Former drummer with Chet Baker
love his (Artt Frank) playing. He has great time and the biggest ears
of anyone I know!"
Chet Baker - during an interview at Stryker's Pub, NY City summer of 1975
The Touch of Your Lips Upon My Life (For Chet) The poet placed his lips around the mouthpiece And filled his horn with whispers and starlight. It might just as well have been a cameo moon Rising into the midnight firmament Haunting your heart and tugging at the tears Ever-hidden from your eyes. He closed his eyes and opened your soul To the anguish and dreams of his history, As the notes became tone-poems of intimacy and swing. So many unfolding years from my teens listening to him Across the miles and heartchords I was beckoned by the piercing sweetness That resonated from the poet's horn, affire within me. A music that caressed my yearning; That gave voice to my throbbing embrace for Life; A poetry that redefined the texture of love's pulsating throat, And for the worlds that needed to find expression. This artist who transformed the trumpet and flugelhorn Helped me fill those spaces for which there are no words; His breath seemed to borrow from the sky's radiant diamonds, And sifted through ethereal moonbeams; It floated my thoughts into an ambush of unknown tears and pain; It delved and swept into the secrets of a rhythm and heartscape Known only by the searching priests who stand in the mist Of sacred street-lights after a gig, Sorting out their love and their soul-ache. Who tells us we can never go home again? For I am there each time my reverie sweeps me Into my wee small hours at Stryker's Pub, O sweet 1974 Where "I Waited For You," As Bob blew his Starlight riffs ahd Harold found the keys, Cameron gave his heartbeat, and Artt brushed out portraits Of the music's interior might. You stepped up blowing so tenderly touching my heart, my buddy; Giving gentleness a new form, a fresh meaning: O how I hear The Lush Life calling to me from a wintry December '84. And I recall talking again to you, The intense, gentle lyricist of the soul's inner recesses; Shaking your hand in the dark smoky night Asking if you'd play "I Fall In Love Too Easily." (and you did.) Ah, sweet driving love drenched memory I do go home again Everytime I sit under ebony-silk heavens in snowy December Or summer's purple soft twilights when jazz whispers to me And I remember so well this poet of poets Allowing my self to be enveloped by the dreaminess and impeccable harmonies, The gorgeous color of notes unwritten, on a palette unseen. O how I watched you through the unfolding years Of rising smoke-rings in cafes long gone; Over the sights of glasses sparkling with liquid journeys and ice As you warmed my heart with that angellic horn. I watched you and Artt build bridges That you improvised and crossed together All those endless, dark Manhattan nights on 86th Street. Artt's brushes creating dark, rolling images and rhythms of light With strokes so bold, and often so romantically subtle In companionship with the breathy stardust from your golden horn. Artt dug his brushes deep beneath the colors Swingin-out newly sculptured impressions That left both dreamy and tight pathways from note-to-note, Vanishing as quickly as they arrived Burying themselves so deathlessly into a collective history. Your voice was a haunting meadow lark With Artt's brushes painting the skyscape for its soaring wings, For in his hands I thought I heard the timeless songs of his life. The jazz spectrum of dripping melodies and pastel rainbows - Born only in the heart's private chamber, Where promise and agony, imperishable love and longing all interplay This poet gave to Jazz. - Anthony Mattiaccio, May 13, 1988 Anthony Mattiaccio ©1988
My friend, Artt Frank, only an authentic love for music and a friend can produce the tone-poems that stir the heart in your singing; for your vocal colorings are not only the scales, pauses, lingerings and upward spirals of tonal light, they are the unknown, private whispers of bereavement for a friend, the respect for his genius and the harmonic interweavings of all you mean to each other, the vast paths, roadways and unseen streets you've lit with cigarette glows after a gig; the cafe windows and all-night diners your shadows and words have fallen upon. Your singing is more than that - it is the living conversation and mirror images of a comradship, a fugitive, spiritual priesthood, a historical embrace between two Knights of the Heart's Riff, two buddies who will always love each other dearly. You once said to me Artt, that my poem makes you feel I've "been part of the band, with us thru our lives in our private talks; you captured the Spirit of who we are, what we created....It makes me cry, Tony." I'll not forget, ever, those words and more of how you describe what I did as a poet. Well, Artt, I wrote some of what I feel when I hear you sing (as I did above) based on all the years I've been with you and Chet in my own way; attending your gigs all thru NYC and listening to all your shows on audio tape, closing my eyes and falling "Deep In A Dream." October 9, 2006
Artt in Motion
Artt can be reached online at email@example.com.
His daughter, Kathy Barry, who plays drums on one track of "Souvenir"
His son-in-law, Ken Barry, who plays sax and flute on "Souvenir," "From The Heart," and "In The Moment," in addition to recording engineering for "That Trio Thing"
JerryJazzMusician.com -- Lots of great links and info on jazz musicians
drumsetconnect.com -- Connecting drummers across the world
Jazzlinks Network -- Jazz links from around the world, with sound samples, photos, and bio information
Bali-Treasures Musical Instruments -- Djembes, hand percussion, African drums
Check out sculptures by Earla Porch Frank of Chet Baker, Billie Holliday, and Bill Evans -- also abstract sculptures and drawings
Web page design by Ken Barry
Contents © 2012 by Artt Frank