Bass player Derek Frank’s affinity for all that is low and funky has recently manifested itself in the release of his long-awaited debut album, “Let the Games Begin…”. This mostly instrumental, bass-heavy funk record projects a sound and vibe that is old and familiar, yet somehow new and unique at the same time. Armed with his flatwound-equipped ’63 Fender Precision Bass (and a few other choice 4 and 5-stringed instruments), Derek takes us on a journey to the groovy side with music that rings of influences such as Curtis Mayfield, Jamiroquai, Pleasure, Groove Collective, The Brand New Heavies, Tower of Power, Marcus Miller, and many others that listeners will simply have to name for themselves. Of the twelve tracks on the album, eight were penned by DF; the remaining four are his instrumental arrangements of covers by the likes of Hall and Oates, Soundgarden, Curtis Mayfield, and even something from early episodes of Sesame Street.
Derek’s album comes to fruition after years of his being a “bass player for hire” on the Los Angeles music scene… spending time on the road and in the studio with all kinds of artists and bands, playing all kinds of music. At some point in every working musicians career, he decides that it’s finally time to start creating and playing the music that he hears in his head, with people that he feels best interpret those particular sounds, drawing on that which has influenced his musical being since its inception. For Derek, that time is now. On this album, DF has enlisted some of LA’s funkiest players, including special guests such as Hammond B-3 organ legend Brian Auger, veteran drummer Steve Ferrone, and up-and-coming hip-hop artist Kosha Dillz. “Let the Games Begin…” is an apt title to kick off this new phase in Derek Frank’s musical life. Look for Derek in the not-too-distant future as he leads his 7-piece horn-injected old-school funk band to stages throughout the world.
Derek Frank’s journey as a professional bass player began around the age of 15 in Cleveland, Ohio, where, while attending high school, he earned invaluable experience (and a few extra bucks) by playing in jazz clubs and for local musical theater productions. Early formal training at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, along with 4 years in the University of Miami’s music program helped him further develop his skills as a musician. Starting at the age of 17, Derek gained some more “real world” experience by playing on cruise ships, which is how he spent his summer vacations following his senior year of high school throughout his senior year of college. Upon finishing up his 4 years in Miami, and after a brief stint in Boston, Derek loaded his basses into his car and drove to Los Angeles, where he has been living and playing for the last several years.
Since his arrival in LA, Derek has constantly kept himself busy in the city’s thriving music scene. Over the years, he’s enjoyed balancing his time between touring, studio work, local gigs, and the occasional TV show or music video, with a variety of artists in a variety of musical styles. Derek prides himself on being a “musical chameleon” of sorts, able to fit comfortably into any musical situation. Always stylistically authentic, his bass lines ring with passion, conviction, taste, and groove. Citing main bass influences such as James Jamerson, Pino Palladino, Stevie Wonder, Marcus Miller, Anthony Jackson, Rocco Prestia, Paul McCartney, John Paul Jones, and Jaco Pastorius, Derek has lent his low-end prowess to an eclectic collection of artists, across the board of musical genres.
Touring credits include: Hammond B-3 organ legend and Acid-Jazz pioneer Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express (2002-present), teen pop sensations Aly & AJ (2006-2008), and the "Dancing With the Stars” tours, a live arena show spun off from the hit ABC television series (2007-2009). Other live performance credits, including television performances, include: Siedah Garrett, Lari White, Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Paige, Alejandra Guzman, Bonnie McKee, and Rachel Yamagata. Recording credits include: artists such as Jonatha Brooke, MoZella, and Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express, producers such as Todd Rundgren, Neal Avron, and Greg Poree, and sessions alongside such legendary musicians as Vinnie Colaiuta and Joe Sample (click here to view a complete discography) . Derek’s bass lines have also been heard on several TV shows and commercial jingles.
Currently, Derek is in LA promoting his debut solo album “Let the Games Begin…” an instrumental funk record that brings together musical influences such as Curtis Mayfield, Jamiroquai, Pleasure, Groove Collective, The Brand New Heavies, Tower of Power, Marcus Miller, etc. Derek is trying to fit in as much playing with his own band as he can, while balancing tours with various artists and keeping himself busy with performances and recording sessions as a freelance musician. Another new band, “”Wonk””, which he started with several long-time friends, has also recently released their self-titled debut album. He has also developed a website called "Bass Tracks Online" , offering budget-conscious singers, songwriters, producers, and composers, who may not otherwise have access to a studio bass player, a way to obtain custom bass tracks for their songs online. Click Here to Check it Out! Derek passionately thumps away on 4 & 5 string fretted and fretless basses, expands his tonal palette with the use of synth bass and lots of different effect pedals, and he plays & endorses Lakland Basses, Celinder Basses, Aguilar amplifiers, Seymour Duncan pickups, and DR strings.
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