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Dreams & Explorations

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 6, 1998
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 6, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ojc
  • ASIN: B00000605R
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #361,546 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
This album by Don Friedman is split in two parts essentially (hard bop and abstracts) as it was the case of another fine Friedman album "Flashback" (a very very good album from the year before, 1963). Simply here they played more abstracts and less standards but the balance is more or less the same. The band is the same that recorded Flashback (Friedman, Kniss, Berk) plus Attila Zoeller on the guitar this time. A very clever addiction because Zoeller plays very well here, he is deep inside the music, inspired and very present.

The second part of the album (the one that I think it's the best) is a classic sixties hard bop date very well played. The inspiration is very high from every player, the time on the notes exceptional from every player. "Israel" is a swinger in minor, "Darn that dream" is one of the most haunting ballads ever written. This version is quite nice!! The last standard "You stepped out of a dream" is opened by Zoeller with a solo introduction but briefly after the tune enters in its first chrous. It is played up. Zoeller does surprise me. I didn't know him. I have to admit it is a great mistake to have overlooked him. He plays convincingly with a good phrasing, good articulation. He's deep inside the music, very inspired to me. Don Friedman is spectacular really. I think he is an incredibly underrated pianist. I don't how many jazz fans really know these albums from the sixties .. they're great albums.

The abstract part is composed by the first four tracks. It is strange music .. free music without predefined forms. It is the free thing .. at one point the music starts to swing in the first tune but without harmonic fixed points, the second tune "Exploration" is better, it swings properly but it's "abstract" ..
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Format: Audio CD
This is a fairly unique record from Don Friedman's quartet which consisted of Friedman, guitarist Attila Zoller, bassist Dick Kniss and drummer Dick Berk. The record is split into two distinct pieces. The first 4 tunes are essentially free jazz. However, this is not the same avante guarde/free jazz of Albert Ayler, Cecil Taylor, or Late-era John Coltrane. This music contains far fewer hard edges and generally has a more impressionistic feel to it, which causes it to be less jarring than some free jazz.

The second half of the record finds the quartet exploring three more straight-forward pieces. On these pieces it becomes more clear that Friedman has a style similar to his friend Bill Evans, but Friedman isn't quite a Bill Evans clone. His interaction with Attila Zoller highlights the unique aspects of both of their styles.

Overall it is a fine record worth checking out.
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