Don Friedman Quartet: Match Point
This quartet album is a balanced mix of standards and Friedman originals, with the former in the majority. The playing echoes his variegated background. Modernistic tendencies prevail on "Ricardo Bossa Nova". Matters turn to swing on Lester Young's "Tickle Toes" with some luminous tenor sax by Tom Butts. Friedman's "Match Point" is driving hard bop recalling Art Blakey's groups, with Frank Ferreri's drums pushing the pianist. Gary Mazzaroppi's bass comes into play in a significant way on this track. Introspectiveness dominates a very thoughtful "`Round Midnight" featuring a lovely Butts tenor statement. Then there's a comfortable rendition of "If you Could See Me Now". For four of the cuts, the group is joined by vocalist Alyse Levy. She shines especially bright on an up tempo "Time After Time" with her vocalizing taking on Lee Wiley tones on "There's No Such Thing as Love".
Match Point is 70 minutes of straightforward, well-conceived jazz music performed by a veteran master pianist and his highly skilled friends and it deserves a listen. Recommended.
Track Listing: Tickle Toes; If You Could See Me Now; I'll Remember April; There's No Such Thing as Love*; Almost Everything; Ricardo Bossa Nova; `Round Midnight; Green Dolphin Street; Here's That Rainy Day*; Match Point; Travelin'; Prelude to a Kiss; Time after Time*; S.S. Cool
Personnel: Don Friedman - Piano; Tom Butts - Tenor Sax; Gary Mazzaroppi - Bass; Frank Ferreri - Drums; Alyse Levy - Vocals*
Record Label: TBR Records