Pianist/Composer Janice Friedman has recently released her first live CD, "Janice Friedman Trio: Live At Kitano". I first met Janice when I was doing a review of "Diva" Rose Kingsley's Cabaret debut at Cafe Noctambulo at Pangea in New York City a few months ago. I was impressed by the way Janice played Piano in support of Rose's unique vocal approach to standards. In talking with Janice after the show, she mentioned that she had just cut a CD, and I knew it would be something I would like.
I certainly was correct. In fact, there was a bonus for me on her CD. Janice does Vocals, Arranging and Composed four wonderful songs. What I like the most about Janice is her unique approach to music. When she plays you can hear little parts of the best Jazz Pianists in history, and yet she has the ability to create music that is totally her own. Her touch on the Plano is soft and thoughtful as are her vocals. Her arranging skills are also remarkable. The first cut on the CD is an original composition, "Get Set", and Janice constructed an Oscar Peterson-inspired arrangement that is terrific. Janice also brilliantly co-wrote a Chopin Nocturne in a beautiful Jass style. According to Janice "I took Chopin's beautiful nocturne, changed it into a Jazz waltz, straightened up the form to make it comfortable to improvise on, adjusted the rhythms and phrases to have them swing, used my own chords, put in an improvised recitative spot where Chopin had one written and voila!"
Supporting Janice on her live CD are: Victor Lewis on Drums and Ed Howard on Bass. Both of these musicians are highly talented and clearly fit together with Janice's style perfectly.
I have attached a "YouTube" of Janice Friedman's sensitive and beautiful rendition of Bill Evan's "Turn Out The Stars" live at Kitano in NYC on March 18, 2015. And after you listen to this performance, just think, she also does Vocals, Arranging and Composing! Janice Friedman is a super-star musical talent!