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Don Friedman Trio: Waltz for Debby

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Don Friedman grew up in the San Fernando valley, when West Coast jazz was at its peak, then followed the jet stream eastward and absorbed every new keyboard style worth blending into his somewhat unique style. He’s now living proof that you can compare oranges and Big Apples.

Friedman must be the most elusive subject of a blindfold test, as these two releases attest. Technically, he boasts the chops of Ahmad Jamal, the elegance of Tommy Flanagan, the poetry of Bill Evans and the imagination of Keith Jarrett. Yet at 68 and playing at his most creative, there are no key words to pin down today’s essential style of Don Friedman. Such are the down sides of being a successful sponge.

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