Don Friedman

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Don Friedman
Don Friedman at the Kitano Jazz Lounge, September 2009
Don Friedman at the Kitano Jazz Lounge, September 2009
Background information
Birth nameDonald Ernest Friedman
Born(1935-05-04)May 4, 1935
San Francisco, California, U.S.
DiedJune 30, 2016(2016-06-30) (aged 81)
The Bronx, New York
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, bandleader

Donald Ernest Friedman (May 4, 1935 – June 30, 2016) was an American jazz pianist. He began playing in Los Angeles and moved to New York in 1958. In the 1960s, he played with both modern stylists and more traditional musicians.

Early life[edit]

Friedman was born on May 4, 1935, in San Francisco.[1] Both of his parents immigrated to the United States: his father, Edward Friedman, was from Lithuania, and his mother, Alma Loew, was from Germany.[1] He began playing the piano at the age of four, switching from classical music to jazz after his family moved to Los Angeles when he was fifteen.[1] His early jazz piano influence was Bud Powell.[1] Friedman briefly studied composition at Los Angeles City College.[1]

Later life and career[edit]

On the West Coast, Friedman performed with Dexter Gordon, Chet Baker, Buddy DeFranco, and Ornette Coleman. He was also a member of Clark Terry's big band.

Friedman moved to New York permanently in 1958.[1] In the 1960s, Friedman played with both modern jazz and more traditionally orientated musicians.[1] The former included Coleman, Eric Dolphy, Jimmy Giuffre, Booker Little, and Attila Zoller; the latter included Bobby Hackett and Herbie Mann.[1] Friedman's first album as a leader was A Day in the City, in 1961.[1] Some of his early albums received top ratings from DownBeat, which also gave him its critics' poll New Star award.[1] He was also an educator in New York.[2] He had many fans in Japan.[3][4]

Friedman married three times; the first two ended in divorce.[1] He died of pancreatic cancer, at home in the Bronx on June 30, 2016.[1] Survivors were one daughter, actress/writer, Lynn Adrianna Freedman, and a granddaughter.


As leader/co-leader[edit]

Recording date Title Label Year released Personnel
1961-06-12 A Day in the City Riverside 1961 Trio, with Chuck Israels (bass), Joe Hunt (drums)
1962-05-14 Circle Waltz Riverside 1962 One track solo piano;
other tracks trio, with Chuck Israels (bass), Pete LaRoca (drums)
1963-05-16 Flashback Riverside 1963 Trio, with Dick Kniss (bass), Dick Berk (drums)
1964 Dreams and Explorations Riverside 1964 Quartet, with Attila Zoller (guitar), Dick Kniss (bass), Dick Berk (drums)
1966-02-22 Metamorphosis Prestige 1966 Quartet, with Attila Zoller (guitar), Richard Davis (bass), Joe Chambers (drums)
1975-07-08, -09 Hope for Tomorrow East Wind 1975 Trio, with Lyn Christie (bass, electric bass), Bill Goodwin (drums)
1977-09-17 Jazz Dancing Progressive 2015 Trio, with Frank Luther (bass), Ronnie Bedford (drums)
1978-02-26, -27 Later Circle RCA 1978 Trio, with George Mraz (bass), Ronnie Bedford (drums)
1978-03-21 The Progressive Progressive 1978 Trio, with Frank Luther (bass), Billy Hart (drums)
1978-06-26 Hot Knepper and Pepper Progressive 1994 Co-leader with Pepper Adams (baritone sax);
with Jimmy Knepper (trombone), George Mraz (bass), Billy Hart (drums)
1978-08-30 Invitation Progressive 1993 Trio, with George Mraz (bass), Ronnie Bedford (drums)
1978-09 The Way We Were Progressive 1981 Trio 1, with George Mraz (bass), Ronnie Bedford (drums).
Trio 2, with Frank Luther (bass), Billy Hart (drums).
1978-09-09 The Don Friedman Trio
also released as Love Music (2018)
Progressive 1979 Trio, with Frank Luther (bass), Billy Hart (drums)
1979-05-20 Themes and Variations EGO 1979 Solo piano
1979-07-22 Don Friedman Swedisc 1980 Trio, Marc Johnson (bass), Heinz Lied (drums)
1979-11-08 Half & Half Insights 1997 Duo, with Red Mitchell (bass)
1979-11-12 Avenue of The Americas Owl 1980 Solo piano
1984-09-22 I Hear a Rhapsody Stash 1985 Solo piano
Memories for Scotty Insights 1988 Trio 1, with Scott LaFaro (bass), Pete LaRoca (drums).
Trio 2, with Chuck Israels (bass), Joe Hunt (drums). Solo piano in 1985.
Trio 1 tracks were reissued by Resonance Records in 2009 on Pieces of Jade.
1985-10-31 Stella by Starlight Insights 1994 Solo piano; recorded Kukisaki Kenmin Center in Ibaraki Prefecture
1987-04-16 Sweet View: Live in Japan Apollon 1988 Co-leader duo, with Eiji Nakayama (bass); in concert
1987-04-21 Far Away Land Break Time 1987 Co-leader duo, with Eiji Nakayama (bass)
1992-04-12, -13 Opus D'Amour Sackville 1992 Co-leader duo, with Don Thompson (bass)
1993-09-05 Don Friedman at Maybeck Concord 1994 Solo piano; in concert
1995-03-13 The Days of Wine and Roses Soul Note 1996 Trio, with Marco Ricci (bass), Giampiero Prina (drums)
1995-03-30 Thingin' HatART 1996 Trio, with Lee Konitz (alto sax), Attila Zoller (guitar); in concert
1995-04 Almost Everything SteepleChase 1995 Trio, with Ron McClure (bass), Matt Wilson (drums)
1996-10-03, -04 Red Sky Waltz Alfa 1996 Trio, with Santi Debriano (bass), Akira Tana (drums)
1996-11-09 My Romance: Solo Piano SteepleChase 1997 Solo piano
1997-07 Prism Abeat 1997 Trio, with Marco Ricci (bass), Stefano Bagnoli (drums)
1998 Match Point TBR 2000 Most tracks quartet, with Tom Butts (tenor sax), Gary Mazzaroppi (bass), Frank Ferreri (drums); two tracks quintet, with Alyse Levy (vocals) added
1999-01-29 Attila's Dreams Ephemeris Jazz 2001 Quartet, with Andrew Cheshire (guitar), Ron McClure (bass), Joey Baron (drums)
1999-10-15 Standards in Cagliari Soul Note 2003 Trio, with Jeff Fuller (bass), Tommy Bradascio (drums); in concert
2000-04 My Foolish Heart SteepleChase 2003 Quartet, with Jed Levy (tenor sax), Tim Ferguson (bass), Tony Jefferso (drums)
2002-05-28 Waltz for Debby Eighty-Eight's 2003 One track solo piano; other tracks trio, with George Mraz (bass), Lewis Nash (drums)
Hot House Chiaroscuro 2004 Quartet, with Tim Armacost (tenor sax), Ron McClure (bass), Tony Jefferson (drums)
2003-10-13 My Favorite Things Eighty-Eight's 2004 One track solo piano; other tracks trio, with George Mraz (bass), Lewis Nash (drums)
2003-10-14 Timeless Eighty-Eight's 2004 VIP Trio, with John Patitucci (bass), Omar Hakim (drums)
2004-07-03 Salzau Trio Live at Jazz Baltica Skip 2005 Trio, with Martin Wind (bass), Terri Lyne Carrington (drums); in concert at Jazz Baltica
2005-03-07 Scarborough Fair Eighty-Eight's 2005 VIP Trio, with Ron Carter (bass), Omar Hakim (drums)
2005-11 Piano Works VI: From A To Z ACT 2006 Solo piano
2006-09-08 Moon River: New York Monologue Eighty-Eight's 2007 Solo piano
2007-03-03, -04 Waltz for Marilyn Jazz Excursion 2007 Quartet, with Peter Bernstein (guitar), Martin Wind (bass), Tony Jefferson (drums)
2007-07-26 Straight Ahead No Coast Jazz 2008 Trio, with Chuck Israels (bass), Joe Hunt (drums)
2008-07-06 Alone Together Edition Longplay 2013 Co-leader piano duet with Hank Jones, plus Martin Wind (bass), Matt Wilson (drums)
2008-11-15, -16 I'd Like to Tell You Music Center 2009 Trio, with Attilio Zanchi (bass), Tommy Bradascio (drums)
2009-07-04 The Composer Enja 2010 With Gary Smulyan (baritone sax), Martin Wind (bass), Joe LaBarbera (drums), Gerður Gunnarsdóttir and Elfa Run Kristinsdóttir (violin), Martin Stupka (viola), Stephan Braun (cello)
2010-03-31 Circle Waltz 21C Eighty-Eight's 2010 Trio, with George Mraz (bass), Lewis Nash (drums)
2011-07-02 Don Friedman Plays Don Friedman Edition Longplay 2012 Solo piano
2015-04-10 Nite Lites Fresh Sound 2015 Trio, with Harvie S (bass), Klemens Marktl (drums)

As a member[edit]

Reuben Hoch and Time
(with Reuben Hoch and Ed Schuller)

  • Of Recent Time (Naim, 2006)

As sideman[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Chinen, Nate (July 7, 2016). "Don Friedman, Versatile Jazz Pianist, Dies at 81". The New York Times.
  2. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Don Friedman". AllMusic. Retrieved March 31, 2010.
  3. ^ "Don Friedman at All About Jazz". Archived from the original on May 5, 2011. Retrieved March 31, 2010.
  4. ^ Don Friedman (1935-2016) Archived July 2, 2016, at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]