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A Pleasant Diversion. I often think that all music is good, but some of it is better. Match Point is well-conceived and performed collection of standards and originals assembled by journeyman pianist Don Friedman. Friedman is an old had having played with the West Coast likes of Dexter Gordon, Shorty Rogers, Chet Baker, and Buddy DeFranco as well as a score of recordings under his own leadership. Joining Friedman is tenorist Tom Butts. Butts is a dry martini of Stan Getz, Lester Young, and Dexter Gordon. His tone is full and warm with modest vibrato and broad range. Drummer Frank Ferreri and bassist Gary Mazzaroppi round out the rhythm section.
The cuts of note on this disc include a strolling take on Lester Young's "Tickle Toes", a slow Tad Dameron's "If you Could See me Now", and a lazy "Time After Time" (with some fine Alyse Levy vocals). Butts' dry tenor is a perfect mate to Friedman's intelligent and swinging playing. Friedman's compositions are smart and sassy, exuding hubris common to the Hard Bop he is promoting. Match Point is a good disc in an ocean of good discs. Not heads and shoulders above, but still worth a listen. Enjoy.
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; There's That Rainy Day; Match Point; Travelin; Prelude To A Kiss; Time After Time; S. S. Cool. (Total Time: 70:17)
Personnel: Don Friedman: Piano; Tom Butts: Saxophone; Frank Ferreri: Drums; Gary Mazzaroppi: Bass; Alyse Levy: Vocals.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.