The Jazzpainter of Amsterdam

Speaking Frankly about the making of ‘Frankly Speaking’

Download the complete presskit here

Promo video

Interview op 25 feb 2022 with Frank Paavo by Tom Beek

CD info



Liner notes

“In the midst of modern society, with its overwhelming density of sounds and notes, nothing expresses our emotional truth more than music can. Amsterdam-based saxophonist and composer Frank Paavo joyfully and playfully captures the moods and movements of the energetic metropolis with his new ensemble that offers a rich palette of versatility and originality, covering three generations of far-reaching artistic exploration. At the helm, Paavo makes the trip worthwhile. His music breathes the past and present tense simultaneously, scintillatingly referring to the memory of the lively improv sessions at the old Bimhuis, and yet, at the same time eagerly anticipating and facilitating the promises and the unknown of improvised music yet to come. The Dutch have always had a reputation for bringing a lofty and witty counter voice to jazz, the greatest of all original American art forms, with such greats as Willem Breuker, Han Bennink and Mischa Mengelberg — and Frank Paavo’s narrative saxophone paintings are no exception. He never settles for the known, but gently and gracefully approaches the unknown in an animated conversation. With fresh melodies, strong ensemble playing and daring arrangements Frankly Speaking is an album of pure musical expression that reflects the dynamics of living in this crazy little place we call the here and now. Let’s dance together into the unknown.”

Tom Beek

Track List

  1. Overture 3:51
  2. Flea Market 7:50
  3. Miniature I 2:46
  4. Painting the Town 8:26
  5. Hidden Views 6:27
  6. City Eyes 8:52
  7. Miniature II 0:54
  8. Silent Colors 7:14

All compositions and arrangements by Frank Paavo

Artist credits

Frank Paavo – sopranosax / tenorsax
Tom Ridderbeekx – trumpet / flugelhorn
Thijs Cuppen – Steinway grand piano / fender rhodEs Marijn van de Ven – double bass / electric bass Mateusz Pulawski – electric guitar
Bart van Helsdingen – drums / percussion

General credits

Produced by Frank Paavo / Paavo Music Poductions
Recorded June 7 and 24, 2021 at the Key Element Studio, Amsterdam
Recording engineer: Ralph Verdult
Photography: Dingena Mol
Artwork and liner notes: Tom Beek
This album was made possible with support from Cultuur & Ondernemen and Sena

Contact / general info

Frank Paavo

Turnerstraat 29 C
1076 VC Amsterdam (NL)

Tel +31 20 664 34 66

mobiel: 06 54 90 20 40


‘If saxophonist Frank Paavo – the self-proclaimed ‘Jazz painter of Amsterdam’ – can do it, so can I: ‘frankly speaking’. So I say: what an enormous development this musician has gone through in a short time! Paavo is not just a colorfully dressed artist, with bright designs and a bright red cap. So are his artistic achievements. He emerged in the jazz scene through the band of pianist Herald Walkate. On his second CD ‘Bay Of poets’ the saxophonist had grown noticeably; he was more prominent. Then came his own CD: ‘Jazzpainter’. There the emphasis was on diversity, with a variety of guests. With ‘Frankly Speaking’ he takes a different path. Paavo wants to ‘come to a whole from freedom’. He gives ‘more space to the individual soloist to tell his story’. This is done in eight own compositions. And therein lies the strength of this album. The compositions are quite diverse: hard bop, funky, South African and made for a sextet. Mostly cheerful and energetic. ‘Miniature I’ is very short, and pure classic! Magnificent. Paavo chose young musicians (or should I call them painters?) and the experienced drummer Bart van Helsdingen. Together they color in Frank Paavo’s ideas. Bright, striking, contrasting and daring. And that’s how it should be.’

Peter J. Korte, Jazzflits NR. 373, 14 MAART 2022

Frank Paavo Frankly speaking
Own management

The opening track Ouverture of Frank Paavo’s second CD is quite misleading with its tribute to Willem Breuker.
Although wonderfully free, this jam session is not very representative of the rest of the pieces. 

City Eyes is, for example, a nice swinging song in which drummer Bart van Helsdingen puts down a wonderfully solid beat and Mateusz Pulawski solos as a funk rock guitarist. 

Or take Hidden Views with its sensitive swinging bass intro, sublimely timed by Marijn van de Ven. The young Tom Ridderbeekx on trumpet plays alongside Paavo here with a lot 

of élan and no frills directly in your heart. In Silent Colors, pianist Thijs Cuppen tells an excellent story about playing with boundaries in jazz: mastery! 

Painting the Town is a nice swinging Latin song with a twist to Paavo’s first CD. 

His new compositions are surprising and Amsterdam’s cheeky and thus bring an ode to the old BIMHUIS. 

In Miniature I you can see the smoky space in front of you! While composing, Paavo got a new perspective on himself. Wonderful music!

Music World – NTB Michael Klier


Flea Market
Miniature 01
Painting the Town
Hidden views
City Eyes
Miniature 02
Silent Colors
%d bloggers liken dit: