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The Don Friedman Quartet at The Kitano New York
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The Don Friedman Quartet at The Kitano New York

- Jazz and Cabaret Corner

The Don Friedman Quartet
Don Friedman on Piano
(Don Friedman Website)
Gary Smulyan on Saxophone
Doug Weiss on Bass
Tony Jefferson on Drums
The Kitano New York
66 Park Avenue @38th Street
New York, NY

Produced by Gino Moratti

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
March 9, 2007

Gino Moratti organized another dynamic jazz event at Kitano this weekend, with the Don Friedman Quartet, including the seasoned pianist, Don Friedman, saxophonist, Gary Smulyan, bassist Doug Weiss, and drummer, Tony Jefferson, playing ballads and be-bop to their Kitano fans. The second set started with nice, even rhythms, as Smulyan carried the theme, shifting with Don Friedman’s arrangements and Weiss and Jefferson’s steady pulse. Weiss’ solo was improvised, with lower and more elongated tones. Jefferson built to a drum roll, with staccato sax. “I Hear a Rhapsody” was played with scintillating piano solos, resonating beautifully, embellished with Smulyan’s flourishes. Hints of atonality transcended the theme.

The next piece built to dynamic rhythm with fused piano and sax. There was a swinging, upbeat mood. Echoing refrains added soul and shifts in tone. A Jobim ballad was opened by Smulyan, with Friedman creating magical moments, unfolding the music with rippling keyboard waterfalls. Weiss took the theme on solo bass, while Jefferson played soft brushes in accompaniment. A tribute to Bud Powell, by Chick Corea, infused rambunctious, percussive Be-Bop, punctuated by Smulyan’s exotic sax. Friedman’s piano went off on wild abandon, while soft drums textured the moment. “Darn that Dream” transitioned to a bass solo, with the piano featured in the treble register. Weiss’ bass harmony inspired Friedman, who developed a contagious, engaging theme. The set ended with lively playfulness and musical energy all around.

Gino Moratti, Kitano Jazz Producer, with
Gary Smulyan, Don Friedman, Tony Jefferson, Doug Weiss
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at