Saxophonist and composer Tim Armacost and pianist and composer David Berkman of The New York Standards Quartet will pay tribute to the late Don Friedman with a performance at The Kitano on August 27. Armacost and Berkman will be joined by an A-list rhythm section featuring Ed Howard on bass and Victor Lewis on drums.
The late pianist/composer Don Friedman was a dear friend and inspiration to Armacost. "Don was a great inspiration for me not just as a musician, but as an example of how to live life. He was passionate about the music he played, he enjoyed time with Marylin, his wife of 26 years, he was active as an educator for more than 40, and he was an accomplished and competitive athlete, literally until a few months before he passed away. He continued to compose, and stayed creative to the end of his life. When he got sick, I never heard him complain - he only expressed frustration about not having the strength to practice the piano for longer than a short while," said Armacost.
Armacost and Berkman are founding members of the New York Standards Quartet (along with bassist Ugonna Okegwo and drummer Gene Jackson), whose mission has always been to interpret standards and traditional jazz tunes in a way that would allow audiences to connect and be engaged, while at the same time, playing in the contemporary jazz style the members have developed through their many decades on the New York jazz scene. Their new album Power of 10 celebrates the 10th anniversary of the band, and shines a spotlight on the group's incredible ability to explore music, together. Tim Armacost explains further, "David was explaining what being a band for 10 years means: that the result of staying together is that we've become totally familiar with each other's playing. When one of us is going for something new, reaching for a different take on a tune, or just pushing the moment forward, everyone hears it immediately. You can feel what the other players are thinking. So when one of us gets inspired and starts a search, or finds a new angle on a tune, everyone jumps in to see where the music will go, or moves over and makes a space for something different to happen. Participating in those moments of discovery is intensely exciting, and that spark is what gives the music its life."