Franklin Clover Seales
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Franklin Clover Seales


Band Jazz Acoustic


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The best kept secret in music


"All About Jazz"

A trio grows in Elkhart, Indiana, home of the new jazz label, Beezwax. A strong trio, with a softer, subtler approach to contemporary, smooth jazz. The best actors know where to place pauses in their speeches. So too do the best jazz combos. Every second of Franklin/Clover/Seales' Three Worlds is like a whispered conversation of music, three-way, but in total unity. ‘New Stories’ is one of the best examples of unhurried, dialogue music, though thoroughly instrumental. Seales’ spirited piano work never threatens by eclipsing the others; neither is it technically too bright or ever at variance with its collaborators. Each of the 6 tunes, save the last radio-airplay-length ‘Norwegian Eyes,’ are epic, planned jams that are intimate enough for the microphone or a small room of poets. As ‘Sweet Lorraine’ admits, the playing is detailed and careful, as if we the listeners have stumbled into the 2nd session after a heated set with all the club lights on full. To begin with such an ambling cool down is not only different, but exceptionally At Ease, to let the mind grow dark with the house lights. Nothing spectacular is achieved here, unless you count relaxation of the soul, and yet another obvious reason why there’s little more needed than a 3-handed game. Ever. - Ben Ohmart


They don’t play together often, but when they do it’s magic. Steve Clover lives in Europe; Marc Seales plays in the group New Stories and teaches at the University of Washington. In 1997 they met Henry Franklin in Los Angeles, contributing to the album The Hunter; a year later they made another disc, the marvelous Two Worlds. On this one the tunes are soft and the interplay large – you need three ears to catch all the action. “Sweet Lorraine” begins gently, and time stops at the end of each phrase; Clover rolls quiet cymbals as Marc makes like Monk. From this moody beginning the pace picks up – there’s a touch of light blues, and a lively strain from Franklin. Feel the sustain on “Serenadeto a Cuckoo: Marc’s echo is warm, and his solo moves naturally. (I think I’d compare him to Harold Mabern, a most underrated talent.) Henry has the speed of a modern bassist, plus an old-fashioned soft tone. No wonder they call him “The Skipper” – his sailing is smooth.

You won’t recognize “Mr. Bojangles”; in a meditative waltz, Seales has the grace of Bill Evans. The tune is nearly absent as its chords are used for exploration; Clover is the dominant voice, and he never takes a solo. “New Stories” (written by Seales for his regular group) is a sweet melancholy; Franklin’s intricacies are a joy, especially when the tune goes funky. The Skipper takes a good solo on “Righteous Path”, and “Norwegian Eyes” has that “dark club on a rainy night” mood. Henry keeps the theme slow‘n’ tangy; feel the cymbals wash over the tune like a fog. Seales is gently soulful (we’re talking Mabern, or maybe Bobby Timmons) and it all sounds like old times. And it should – this is the best kind of family reunion. - John Barrett


The Hunter - Resurgent Music RM 117
Two Worlds - A Records AL 73162
Three Worlds - Beezwax BW3277A
Ears Wide Open - Beezwax BW6736A


Feeling a bit camera shy


The FRANKLIN / CLOVER / SEALES PROJECT - three musicians that bring a unique and highly individual approach to the piano trio. Because of their diverse experiences with leaders from Mark Murphy to Tim Buckley, Benny Carter to Pharoah Sanders and the 3 Sounds to John Carter, a sense of surprise and unpredictability awaits the listener. And from their personal and musical histories comes the trios objective to communicate through jazz & improvised music and to share the experience with you and your audiences.

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"Every sound of FRANKLIN / CLOVER / SEALES Three Worlds is like a whispered conversation
of music , three-way , but in total unity."
Ben Ohmart,

". . . their unhurried approach and attitude toward material take some refreshing detours around norms."
Josef Woodard, Los Angeles Times

"When it's good it is only natural for you to want more."
Russell Arthur Roberts, L.A. Jazz Scene

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HENRY FRANKLIN: Bass / Composer
A Los Angeles legend, Mr Henry "The Skipper" Franklin is one of the most sought after bassists in the United States. A brief list of the leaders he has worked with includes Dexter Gordon, Freddie Hubbard, Pharoah Sanders, Shelly Manne and Sonny Rollins as well as Stevie Wonder and Hugh Masakela. He has 8 albums released under his own name and over 80 as a sideman - 2 of which went "gold".

A sample of his recordings as a sideman would include: "Secrets" with John Carter / Bobby Bradford, "Soul Symphony" with The 3 Sounds, "Song of Songs" with Woody Shaw and "Live at Montreaux" with Hampton Hawes. Henry Franklin is also the author of the book "Basically Yours".

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STEVE CLOVER: Drums / Percussion Also from Los Angeles, Mr. Clover has performed with Art Pepper, Tim Buckley , John Carter / Bobby Bradford, Vinnie Golia, John Tchicai, The 3 Sounds and Warne Marsh among others. His recordings include Gene Russell's "New Directions" on Black Jazz Records and "Spheres" with Al Hood and Hein van de Geijn for Auddio Daddio Records. Along with touring and appearing at various festivals both in Europe and the United States, Steve Clover is also active as a teacher and clinician on both continents.

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MARC SEALES: Piano / Composer / Professor
Marc Seales, pianist extraordinaire and professor of jazz studies at the University of Washington, brings his own wealth of experience, sensitivity and compositions to the trio. Along with leading his own trio in the northwest, he has worked with leaders as diverse as Benny Carter and Benny Golson, as well as Joe Henderson, Slide Hampton, Larry Coryell, Jackie McLean and Clark Terry. He was also the pianist on Mark Murphy's 1998 Grammy nominated album "Song for the Geese" and has appeared at the North Sea Jazz Festival with James Newton and Don Lamphere, with whom he has recorded 6 albums. Marc Seales is also the recipient of numerous awards from the Earshot Jazz Festival held in Seattle.

In April of 2003 the fourth FRANKLIN / CLOVER / SEALES PROJECT - "Ears Wide Open" - will be released on Beezwax Records.