Michael Jackson planned album of classical music | Sean Michaels

Michael Jackson had several classical music compositions in the works, according to composer David Michael Frank, including one that existed only in his head

Besides his epic run of concerts and an on-again off-again pop comeback record, Michael Jackson was allegedly working on something else at the time of his death – an album of classical music.

Composer David Michael Frank claims he was approached about the project about two months ago. He and Jackson had met in 1989, working on a TV tribute to Sammy Davis Jr. Two decades later, the star invited Frank to his home in Los Angeles's Holmby Hills. They discussed classical music – Frank says he was "impressed" by Jackson's knowledge – and then the singer showed him "two demos of two pieces he'd written". Neither composition was complete.

"For one of them, he had a whole section of it done in his head," Frank told Billboard yesterday. "He had not recorded it. He hummed it to me as I sat at the keyboard in his pool house and we figured out the chords – I guess this recording I made is the only copy that exists of this music."

Jackson asked Frank to work on orchestral arrangements of the pieces.

At the time of their meeting, Jackson appeared in good health. "He seemed totally healthy, not frail, and gave me a firm handshake when we met," Frank said. "[He] had a good voice and was in good spirits. He was very skinny, but from what I knew, he was always thin. He was also taller than I pictured, but he might have been wearing some platform shoes. And he was impeccably dressed."

The composer did not see Jackson again, though he received a call a few weeks ago to see how the arrangements were progressing. "He mentioned more instrumental music of his he wanted to record, including one jazz piece," Frank said. "I hope one day his family will decide to record this music as a tribute and show the world the depth of his artistry."

David Michael Frank is primarily a film and TV composer, working on television series such as The Mole, Fortune Hunter and Above the Law.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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