Richard J. Frank
Gig Seeker Pro

Richard J. Frank

Bend, Oregon, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2021 | INDIE

Bend, Oregon, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2021
Band Jazz Jam


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Present Tense Does Some Smooth Talkin'"

May 26, 2006
L.A.'s own Present Tense are in the final phases of their latest studio album entitled "Smooth Talkin'." World-renowned percussionist Alex Acuna laid tracks for the upcoming CD due to release this summer (pushed to Fall '06). Songwriters/producers Richard J. Frank and Ronnie Kaufman penned 13 original smooth jazz compositions plus creative arrangements of the classic hits "Dream On" and "Lean On Me." Pictured (in the actual release) L-R: Ronnie Kaufman, Richard Frank, Alex Acuna and engineer John Ugarte. For more information on this act visit - Music Connection

"Matt Cibula Night Shadows CD review"

I'll just say at the outset that the previous rating only applies to the general public. If you're a fan of "smooth jazz" and stuff like that, then you'll love this record beyond all measure, because it takes the basic formula (easy-to-digest melodies, no weird solos, vague touches of world-beat) and messes with it by bringing in just a little tiny bit of funk. However, if you're a rocker, maaaaan, then this is not going to be your cup of bile. So leave, so I can talk to the jazzheads.

Present Tense is, at least on this record, a piano trio that alternates its piano players. So there are four members, but the core is just two guys. Richard Frank plays bass and Ronnie Kaufman plays drums (that's the R Squared of the label), and they write all the songs either together or separately. But neither of them ever carry the melody lines - that's all left up to pianists John Enrico Douglas (first five tracks) and Chad Edwards (tracks 6-12). Oh, and I hear they sometimes play with a saxophonist, but not on this record. Confused yet?

Well, let's talk about the songs themselves then. Kaufman used to be the drummer in the Gap Band, so you know he's nice like that; his work on his song "Dia del Sol" has to be heard to be believed, and he's just as comfortable on bop things like "Outhouse" as he is on fusion pieces like "Overload." And Frank, while not the showiest bassist in the world (thank god), holds it down nicely, as well as writing some beautiful songs - "Sweet and Simple" manages to be both without being boring, and "The Ride" is crying out to be sampled by Dr. Dre.

Douglas and Edwards are both really good piano players, but their styles are very similar (Edwards seems to favor synths a little more), and it's hard to know what the group gains by having these two alternate. In fact, that's my main criticism of Night Shadows: this album doesn't seem to have a sense of purpose. Frank and Kaufman are the backbone of the band, but they allow the two part-time members to dominate the proceedings. - Music

"Music Connection Night Shadows CD review"

"Not your usual smooth jazz outing, the disc [Night Shadows] is modern but with an organic, traditional based approach..." - Music Connection


"I was fortunate to have heard this group play live at the Lucy Florence Coffee House in Lemert Park, CA. Jazz inspirations plus Latin rythms meet head on in this original quartet's driving debut CD release on the track, 'Dia Del Sol.' This is one of the most refreshing group of artists to emerge on the jazz scene in a while. The collaboration of Richard and Ronnie on 'The Approach' is masterful. These all original tracks hightened my already keen sense for acoustic candy. The rhythm section was impeccably maintained on Ludwig drums and percussion by Ronnie. WOW! If you love keyboards none does it better than John on a 1928 Steinway! I close my eyes in my listening room and I am taken back to that night at Lucy's. I might as well give these guys a permanent debit card for any music they produce. They said to keep it short... how can I? Bottom line... OWN THIS OR REGRET IT!!!"
- StockTec - AKA L.D. Wall

"Music Connect Rave Live Review!"

Present Tense
La Va Lee
Studio City

Contact: Richard Frank, 818-427-5500;


The Players: Chad Edwards, keyboards; Carlyle Barriteau, guitar, vocals; Richard Frank, acoustic bass; Tony White, sax, flute; Ronnie Kaufman, drums.

Material: Present Tense presents smooth jazz, highlighted by incredible sax and keyboard work. Guitars harmonize over a seamless platform of drums and stand-up bass. The way the songs softly and easily segue into each other makes it seem as if each tune is a movement in a much larger symphony.

Musicianship: Each musician in this group can stand on his own, and all are allowed to shine singularly. In fact, each instrument is so much a part of the total sound that without any one piece it would change significantly. Kaufman’s drums and Frank’s bass lay the ultimate foundation for the featured sounds of Edwards, White and Barriteau. Adding to the band’s virtuosity, Kaufman performs an incredible drum solo to close out the set.

Performance: The set started with a conglomeration of sounds that meshed into the opening number featuring sax and keyboards alternately, followed by a keyboard solo that built back into a sax solo. Present Tense performed an incredible cover of Aerosmith’s “Dream On,” which segued into the band’s only vocal song, a stirring cover of “I’ll Be Around,” featuring the rich voice of Barriteau. The band members spoke little, but their music spoke volumes, as it filled the venue with a richness that exceeded the entrees being served by the chef.

Summary: Present Tense’s brand of jazz is very relaxing, best enjoyed any time you want to forget about the troubles of this world. When they play, you can just sit back and enjoy the energy as your senses take a much needed vacation. Watch for these guys to make a serious move on the local jazz market.

––Bob Leggett - Music Connection - August, 07

"Present Tense Gets Blown Away By Marienthal"

L.A.'s own Present Tense recently completed their sophomore studio album with world-renowned saxophonist Eric Marienthal adding his signature sax sound to the recently released "organic" smooth jazz project entitled Smooth Talkin'. Songwriters/producers Richard J. Frank and Ronnie Kaufman penned 12 compositions plus a creative arrangement of Aerosmith's classic "Dream On." Pictured (L-R): Richard J. Frank and Eric Marienthal. For more information regarding Present Tense, visit or call 818-427-5500. - Music Connection, Studio Mix


Released in May, 2008, Present Tense recently completed their second CD "Smooth Talkin'" featuring special guests ERIC MARIENTHAL on sax, and ALEX ACUNA on percussion. Behind the effort is John Leftwich and Gregg Karukas whose fabulous ears made outstanding results.

CD is climbing up the Smooth Jazz Radio Charts and is on over 60 radio stations and syndicated programs.

Debut CD: "Night Shadows" spun on 24 radio stations on the West Coast including NPR�s Tavis Smiley Show and in the air on TED Airlines..



*They combine contrasting styles so flawlessly, it's breathtaking. Like a sleek, fast rollercoaster, the music challenges listeners to hold on tight and enjoy the ride.*
Bob Baur / Music Connection Magazine

*When they play, you can just sit back and enjoy the energy as your senses take a much needed vacation.*
Bob Leggett / Music Connection Magazine

BEST FUSION ARTIST (Long Beach Jazz Search)
BEST JAZZ ARTIST nominee (Orange County Music Association)
BEST JAZZ ARTIST nominee (Los Angeles Music Awards)
FINALIST (Great American Song Competition) for *Smiles* written by Richard J. Frank

Present Tense is an organic experience exhibiting a blend of original contemporary works, unique classic rock, R&B, and pop renditions with moving instrumental jams. Their live performances (often accompanied with special guests) are a feast for the eyes and ears, showcasing each of the musician`s individual skills. The following excerpt from a recent press review sums up this point nicely:

*Each musician in this group can stand on his own, and all are allowed to shine singularly. In fact, each instrument is so much a part of the total sound that without any one piece it would change significantly.* ~Music Connection Magazine

While their live performances are not to be missed, Present Tense`s studio albums hold to the same level of musical integrity with high-end production values and special guests. As on their debut CD Night Shadows, and their recently released album, Smooth Talkin (featuring Eric Marienthal on saxophone and Alex Acuna on percussion), the main tracks were recorded LIVE in the studio with few over dubs. What you hear is a tight sound that`s polished with real-time interaction - not, like many others, layered to a drum machine and looped. This is what makes their sound organic. The majority of instruments are acoustic with some added electric elements, compliments of guitar and keys. In essence, the organic vibe of PRESENT TENSE music is exhilarating.

*Present Tense is a group to watch closely.*
Matt Cibula / Music