The date was January 9, 2016 and the place was Vitello’s Jazz Club in North Hollywood. Alex Frank was playing bass with Johnny Mandel and his Big Band in an event celebrating Mandel’s 90th birthday. The venue was filled with celebrities, including Marilyn and Alan Bergman, Paul Williams, and Michael Feinstein. After the concert, Alex heard a voice calling his name and insisting he sit down at his table. It was Quincy Jones, and he said to Alex, “I have two words for you—Ray Brown.” Not too shabby to be compared to one jazz legend by another one.
Ray Brown was Alex’s inspiration from the time he started playing upright bass at age 14. That same year, 2002, Ray Brown released an album featuring guitarists, including Bruce Forman and Kenny Burrell, both of whom Alex has since worked with many times. Recently, Alex has teamed up with guitarist Graham Dechter and drummer Ryan Shaw to form the Lineage Trio, a group that pays tribute to Ray Brown, Barney Kessel, and Shelly Manne. The trio made its official debut in October 2018, with a weeklong residency at Marians Jazzroom, home of the International Jazzfestival Bern, Switzerland. Since then, they have performed in many of the top jazz venues nationwide, including The Smith Center in Las Vegas. They are currently in the process of recording their first album.
Since his 2010 graduation from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, where he studied under Peter Dominguez and Eddie Gomez, Alex has already emerged as an important voice in the Los Angeles jazz scene. As the youngest member of the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra, Alex was the bassist on the debut album of actor and jazz pianist Jeff Goldblum, The Capitol Studios Sessions. This album, which debuted at No. 1 on both the Billboard and iTunes Jazz charts, was produced by multiple Grammy winner Larry Klein for Decca Records. Featured artists on the album include Haley Reinhart, Imelda May, Till Brönner, and Sarah Silverman. Additionally, Alex has recorded with Bill Cunliffe, Bruce Forman, Peter Erskine, Tamir Hendelman, Renee Olstead, Richard Shelton, Ty Taylor, Spencer Day, Landau Murphy Jr., and, least expected, Nas. Along with the Lineage Trio and Mildred Snitzer Orchestra, Alex is also currently a member of the Bruce Forman Trio, the Tamir Hendelman Trio and Too Marvelous For Words, a tribute to Nat King Cole featuring EMMY-Award winning actor, Keith David.
Alex has been fortunate to perform with such diverse artists as George Benson, Molly Ringwald, Benny Golson, Niki Haris, Matthew Morrison, Macy Gray, Bobby Rydell, Tierney Sutton, Jeff Hamilton, Barbara Morrison, James Tormé, Jane Monheit, and Pat Williams. He can be seen and heard playing live on-camera with the Bill Holman Big Band for the Clint Eastwood-directed film version of the Broadway smash, Jersey Boys. Other film, TV appearances, and soundtracks include Jimmy Kimmel Live, Modern Family, Black Nativity, theToday Show, You’re The Worst, the Graham Norton Show, andThe Late Late Show with James Corden.
In 2018, Alex was a finalist in the 23rd Annual USA Songwriting Competition for the song, “Lost And Found”. One year earlier, he co-wrote the song, “It’s Pure A.C.”, which was chosen as the official anthem for Atlantic City. As a member of Bruce Forman’s Cow Bop, Alex was inducted in 2014 into the Texas Western Swing Hall of Fame. In 2013, he placed 2nd in the International Society of Bassists’ Jazz Competition.
Alex Is a proud endorser of Gallien-Krueger Amps.