We present a sparse linear system solver that is based on a multifrontal variant of Gaussian elimination, and exploits low-rank approximation of the resulting dense frontal matrices. We use hierarchically semiseparable (HSS) matrices, which have low-rank off-diagonal blocks, to approximate the frontal matrices. For HSS matrix construction, a randomized sampling algorithm is used together with interpolative decompositions. The combination of the randomized compression with a fast ULV HSS factorization leads to a solver with lower computational complexity than the standard multifrontal method for many applications, resulting in speedups up to 7 fold for problems in our test suite. The implementation targets many-core systems by using task parallelism with dynamic runtime scheduling. Numerical experiments show performance improvements over state-of-the-art sparse direct solvers. The implementation achieves high performance and good scalability on a range of modern shared memory parallel systems, including the Intel © Xeon Phi (MIC). The code is part of a software package called STRUMPACK – STRUctured Matrices PACKage, which also has a distributed memory component for dense rank-structured matrices.