Gary Smulyan meets the Don Friedman Trio
February 4, 2010
Heated up jazz spirit inside the Tel Aviv Cinematheque could not succumb to the winter air last Thursday’s late night performance of the Don Friedman’s Trio and saxophonist Gary Smulyan. Excited people filled the lobby, anticipating a night of enthralling experience: some standing in animated talks with their buddies drinking either wine or coffee, others had the luck to get seats by the coffee and wine bar. All throughout the night, a local jazz group was performing to the delight of the swelling lobby crowd, abuzz with much latent energy. It was worthy to note that most jazz crowds everywhere share common traits that distinguish them from those hooked to other musical genres. This crowd for one obviously had class and culture running in their veins. Everybody was friendly, polite and sophisticated. The quiet, balmy atmosphere inside the Hall eventually crescendoed to controlled frenzy, picking up energy from the vibrant, brilliant playing of Gary Smulyan on the saxophone and the virtuosity of Don Friedman Trio composed of Don Friedman himself, on the piano, Chuck Israels, on contrabass, and Joe Hunt, on the drums. Two of Smulyan’s original compositions were part of the night’s repertoire. Jazz lovers that night must have felt privileged to have experienced the authentic soul and flair of his musical style. His enigmatic performance on the baritone saxophone fitfully complements and demonstrates his respect for the distinctive creativity of The Trio. After taking turns in improvising upon the head melodies, each yielded to the ingenuity of the other during their respective solo segments. Not surprisingly, when it was time to wrap up the performance, the audience would not let them leave just yet. Similar to a wine toast to the performers’ musical savvy, the audience’s urgent, decisive clapping for an encore stopped only when the jazz luminaries once again appeared onstage. Being one of the most attended performances during the Jazz Festival, this group proved to jazz lovers present that night that they are worthy of the accolades they have been constantly receiving worldwide.
Story by Arlene Alon / IPM Images by Isaac Alon / IPM
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