Amsallem was born in 1961 in Oran (Algeria), and then grew up in Nice, France.
He moved to the USA to hone his skills and learn at Berklee College
in 1981. Moving to NY in 1986, he studied
composition for jazz orchestra with Bob Brookmeyer at the Manhattan School of Music
, and classical piano with Phil Kawin. He
then won 2nd price at Jacksonville’s
Great American Jazz competition
In 1990, at
28 years of age with the help of the Fondation de la Vocation and of a
fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, Franck records “Out A Day”
a trio with Gary Peacock and Bill Stewart. Critics are laudatory; “There is
every reason to expect excellence from this young pianist, still in his
twenties, who prepared with such discipline for his first recording
opportunity. The promise of good things to come is based on the considerable
appeal of this recommended CD (Cadence)”. “We are in danger of gushing and
embarrassing ourselves. Sample this wonderful recording at all costs (Penguin
guide to jazz on CDS)”.
recorded “Regards” (****DownBeat), “Is That So”, a duo with Tim Ries
reinforced by the equal participation of Leon Parker, “Years Gone By”, with Daniel Humair, “On Second Thought” a live recording where everything comes
together successfully without a hitch. In the fall of 2003, now living in Paris, Franck returns to the
trio format with "Summer Times".
In the fall pf 2005, Nocturne released "A week
in Paris", a Billy Strayhorn tribute featuring Elisabeth Kontomanou and
performed in many of the big festivals, from Juan les Pins to Pori, Nice to
Molde. He has also backed Gerry Mulligan, Charles Lloyd and Harry Belafonte,
recorded with Bobby Watson, Roy Hargrove or Joshua Redman, and performed in the
bands of Maria Schneider and Joe Chambers. He has composed numerous pieces for
big band, and for string and chamber orchestra. "I love the variety of situations, learning as you go along,
challenging every solution, nothing ever preset."