Donald Ernest Friedman was born in San Francisco May 4th 1935. After working on the West Coast for a while Don headed for New York in 1958. He was a friend and contemporary of the, late Bill Evans. Both hit the New York City jazz scene at about the same time, both recorded for Riverside, and both shared the same rhythm section. Some say Don hired Scott LaFaro before Bill did. He played with guitarist Chuck Wayne's trio in 1966/7 and Clark Terry's Big Band, did a European tour with Jimmy Giuffre and concerts and club dates with Attila Zoller.
In 1970 he started teaching jazz piano at N.Y.U. continuing through 1973. Since that time he has worked with commercial trios, taught and done the occasional tour picking up a rhythm section in the cities he worked, or did solo engagements.
When he led his own groups, his music was able to fuse the lyricism of Bill Evans, the aggressiveness of John Coltrane, and the freedom of Ornette Coleman. He was one of the most important pianists of the 1960's and 1970's for whom the innovations of Bill Evans was a significant point of departure.
His music today is equally exciting, it has matured to the point where the different elements and styles that he combines seem to melt into each other effortlessly.
|Recommended recordings:||"A Day in the City"||OJC OJCCD-1775-2|
|"Live at Maybeck"||Concord CCD-4608|
|"I Hear a Rhapsody"||Stash ST-CD-577|
with Don Thompson