Thursday Nov 6th, 2003
The Don Friedman Trio
Featuring Buster Williams on bass and Billy Drummond on drums
The Jazz Standard
116 East 27th St. (btw. Park & Lexington Avs.)
Sets: 7:30PM & 9:30PM
Performing music from his new CD Waltz For Debby
441 Records | www.441records.com About Don Friedman
In his long and respected career, pianist Don Friedman has played and recorded with Booker Little, Herbie Mann, Clark Terry, Ornette Coleman, Pepper Adams, Jimmy Giuffre, Charles Lloyd, Dexter Gordon, and many other greats. Meanwhile, he has compiled an impressive roster of albums under his own name, several earning Down Beat's coveted five-star rating.
Born in 1935 in San Francisco to music-loving parents (his mother was a singer who studied opera), Friedman began taking classical piano lessons at age five, but first heard jazz in his mid-teens when he was exposed to the big bands of Les Brown, Stan Kenton, and Billy May. However, he points out, I could always improvise, even when I was four and five years old."
Friedman's jazz style was strongly influenced by horn soloists in the Kenton band; he cites going to clubs to hear Lee Konitz, Conte Condoli, and Frank Rosolino in particular when they had side gigs. Though he also took some jazz piano lessons, Friedman credits playing along with classic records by Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis, and Charlie Parker for his understanding of jazz rhythm, which (as always) required an adjustment from his classical training.
While a student at Los Angeles City College, Friedman and some students from USC won a gig at the famed Lighthouse. It was when he was chosen for Buddy DeFranco's band in 1956 that he first hit the road, making it to the East Coast on a nine-month tour. The contacts he made then enabled him to move to New York City in 1958. By 1965, Friedman had won a New Star Award in Down Beat's annual Critic's Poll. He remains a New Yorker to this day, teaching at NYU and leading a mid-sized jazz ensemble there.
For the last four years, Don has been the pianist in the Clarck Terry Quintet.
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