Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Amit Friedman: Home at Last


Amit Friedman: Home at Last


View read count
Amit Friedman: Home at Last
Once upon a time, jazz, an American creation, was confined for the most part within its borders. But that was once upon a time. Today, any barriers that once kept jazz within a prescribed realm have long since vanished, and the music Americans once embraced as their own has flourished around the world, performed with increasing awareness and dexterity by artists who have built upon the patterns created in the land of its birth to weave colorful and charming tapestries of their own that enhance and broaden the jazz tradition.

Saxophonist Amit Friedman is an Israeli whose first up-close taste of American jazz came when he was fourteen years old was and taken by his father during a visit to New York City to the Blue Note Club to see vocalist Jon Hendricks and organist Jimmy Smith. "When you play at the Blue Note," his father said to him, "I want to be your chauffeur and drive you there in a limo." Once back home, Friedman set about trying to make that happen, performing regularly with his groups and others, recording two well-received albums and becoming one of the better-known young jazz musicians in the country.

Along the way he learned to compose and arrange as well, adding two more potent weapons to his already impressive arsenal. On his third album, Unconditional Love, Friedman overlays contemporary post-bop jazz with a Middle Eastern vibe to produce a bright and pleasing mostly-quartet session on which he encamps for the most part on tenor saxophone. Percussionist Rony Iwryn amplifies the quartet on three numbers, oud player Amos Hoffman on two, and there are vocals by Joca Perpignan ("Alma") and Doron Talmon ("Stride by Stride").

Friedman lulls the listener into a sense of repose on the opener, "Home at Last," before an abrupt uptick in tempo at the 2:30 mark turns what had been a quiet journey into an all-out scamper on which Friedman and pianist Tom Oren set the pace while bassist Gilad Abro and drummer Yonatan Rosen make sure there are no imprecise turns. Having shown its mastery of the sprint, the quartet settles into a laid-back groove on "Mal-Mal" before turning up the heat on "Name Droppin.'" The title song, a melodious ballad with ardent blowing by Friedman, Oren and Abro, precedes the light and lyrical "Rill-Rool" (with Friedman on soprano) and swaggering "Blues for Jackito," an old-school swinger on which everyone shows his affinity for American-style jazz.

Joca sings well on "Alma," a smooth-flowing samba with a Brazilian flavor, as does Talmon on the warm-hearted "Stride by Stride." The gentle "Sunset" is sandwiched between, with Hoffman splendid on oud, before the quartet (Friedman, soprano) closes with Paul McCartney's rhapsodic "Junk." While it's a shame that Friedman's father didn't live long enough to drive him to the Blue Note, he would no doubt be pleased to know that his son is moving closer to that cherished destination with every day that passes and every note he blows.

Track Listing

Home at Last; Mal-Mal; Name Droppin’; Unconditional Love; Rill-Root; Blues for Jackito; Alma; Sunset; Stride by Stride; Junk.


Album information

Title: Home at Last | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: Origin Records

Next >



For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.


The Island
Kasper Rietkerk
More Human
Splashgirl + Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe
Kenny Reichert
Threeway with special guest John Etheridge


My Prophet
Oded Tzur
Time Again
Koppel, Blade, Koppel
September Night
Tomasz Stanko Quartet

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.