Pianist and composer Don Friedman was heralded by The New York Times as a "versatile pianist who moved easily between the modern-jazz mainstream and the more volatile jazz avant-garde."
He started off playing on the West Coast in 1956 with Dexter Gordon, Shorty Rogers, Buddy Collette, Buddy DeFranco, 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, the Jimmy Giuffre Three, a quartet with Attila Zoller, Chuck Wayne's trio, Clark Terry's big band, and, notably for his future recording with Newvelle, Booker Little.
As a young pianists, Don was featured on Booker Little's two extraordinary albums "Out Front" and "Booker Little and Friend." Records that have stood for 56 years as testament of Booker's genius. Half a century later, Don Friedman and his trio revisited these works for his Newvelle Season Two album Strength and Sanity.
Strength and Sanity was his last recorded project. Don passed away from pancreatic cancer in June 2016. He was Newvelle' co-founder Elan Mehler's piano teacher when he first moved to NYC, and we are enormously grateful that he recorded this project. In addition to being an excellent pianist, Don was a brilliant, humble, spirited and compassionate person.