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Hot House

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Album Review

During his long career, Don Friedman has recorded many memorable dates as a leader, though the veteran pianist remains a talent worthy of greater recognition. With seasoned bassist Ron McClure, drummer Tony Jefferson, and tenor saxophonist Tim Armacost, Friedman's adventurous set shows the obvious influence of Bill Evans while also exploring a wide range of material. His harmonically advanced arrangement of "My Funny Valentine" features Armacost on soprano sax. He puts a fresh stamp on "You Go to My Head" in a sparkling duet with McClure. Friedman's lush solo interpretation of "But Beautiful" is also not to be missed. The driving performance of Tadd Dameron's "Hot House" finds the pianist initially taking a backseat to Armacost's blazing tenor before he and McClure make their individual statements with authority. Mal Waldron's well-known "Soul Eyes" is a marvelous duet matching McClure's warm arco bass with Friedman's lush chords. The leader also brought a trio of originals to the sessions, including the upbeat "35 West 4th Street," the frenetic "Blues in a Hurry," and "Waltz for Marilyn," the latter played unaccompanied.


Born: May 4, 1935 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

An excellent if underrated pianist, Don Friedman started off playing on the West Coast in 1956 with Dexter Gordon, Shorty Rogers, Buddy Collette, Buddy DeFranco (1956-1957), Chet Baker, and even the then-unknown altoist Ornette Coleman. After moving to New York in 1958, Friedman played in many settings, including with his own trio, Pepper Adams, Booker Little (recording with him in 1961), the Jimmy Giuffre Three (1964), a quartet with Attila Zoller, Chuck Wayne's trio (1966-1967), and, by the end...
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Hot House, Don Friedman
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