Frank ChastenierFrank Chastenier started to play the piano when he was only eight, inspired by Oscar Peterson, Count Basie and Keith Jarrett. He also learned to play the organ at a very young age. He was only thirteen when he won a stately jazz competition. Only a year later he started touring Germany as the youngest member of a youth Big Band. At seventeen he started his classical piano studies.
In 1987, at age 20 only, Chastenier reached the finals of the legendary "Thelonious Monk Competition" in Washington, DC/USA. A year later, Peter Herbolzheimer got him to join his "Bundesjazzorchester" (as well as his own "Rhythm Combination & Brass" time and again). In 1990 Frank Chastenier celebrated his debut with the Big Band of the WDR Radio in Köln with a studio production. This was soon followed by other projects, such as Last Minute with drummer Dennis Mackrel or "Electricity" (1991), during which the young instrumentalist got to work for the first time with guest-band director Bob Brookmeyer and soloists such as John Abercrombie, Danny Gottlieb, Dieter Ilg and Rainer Brüninghaus. That same year the project-oriented work turned into a continuous engagement. Much more than just a job, but steady work nonetheless: At age 24, Frank Chastenier became the pianist of the WDR Big Band Cologne. From the start he was fascinated by the diversity of the concert programs of this ensemble, in which he could develop his creative variety and creativity on piano, keyboards, synthesizers and the Hammond B3.
The musical diversity of Frank Chastenier in the concerts and by now 25 album productions with the WDR Big Band has impressed quite a few jazz giants, among them Ray Brown, Peter Erskine, Jeff Hamilton, Bill Holman, Bob Brookmeyer, Vince Mendoza, John Clayton, George Gruntz, Lalo Schifrin, Jim McNeely, Michel Legrand, Paquito D'Rivera, Toots Thielemans, Patrick Williams and many more.
In 1994 the trombone player, composer, arranger and conductor Bob Brookmeyer dedicated his piano concert "Serious Music" to Frank Chastenier, for the first time giving him the opportunity to unfold his improvisational and pianistic creativity in a larger context with the WDR Big Band. Vocalists such as Chaka Khan, Al Jarreau, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Randy Crawford, Caterina Valente or Patti Austin have also come to appreciate his qualities as a universal, virtuoso and sensitive accompanist.
Apart from his work with the Big Band of the WDR, Chastenier, who is a well versed studio musician and arranger (among his finest sessions are those with German entertainers Hildegard Knef and Manfred Krug and German classical singer Thomas Quasthoff), has been supporting his music school friend Till Brönner at various opportunities, live and in the studio. Frank is the piano player on 2008 Grammy Award Winner "Avant Gershwin" from Patti Austin.
Unfortunately there are no albums to present Frank's Hammond playing beside two tracks on the album "What's New" on which his partners are Olivier Peters, John Goldsby and Danny Gottlieb.
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NCC Jazz 8503
recorded 1996 in Köln/Germany
Olivier Peters, tenor sax, soprano sax, trumpet, flugelhorn, valve trombone
Frank Chastenier, grand piano, Hammond B3 organ, keyboards
John Goldsby, bass
Danny Gottlieb, drums
Norbert Scholly, guitar
Gregoire Peters, baritone sax
The Last Concert
recorded live march 1996 in Köln/Germany
Eddie Harris, tenor sax
Bernard Purdie, drums
Nils Landgren, trombone
Dean Brown, guitar
Dave King, drums
Haywood J. Gregory, vocals
John Goldsby, bass
Gil Goldstein, piano and conductor
Frank Chastenier, piano, Hammond organ
WDR Big Band
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