Desert Island Jazz
Castaways by date
Scotty Barnhart
09 Aug
Sugar Pie DeSanto
01 Nov
Tim Garland
26 Apr
Nolan Gasser
14 Jun
Joe Gilman
26 Jul
Ben Goldberg
01 Mar
Lua Hadar
08 Mar
Paul Hanson
16 Aug
Molly Holm
19 Apr
Earl R. Johnson jr
08 Nov
Kathy Kosins
25 Oct
Remy Le Boeuf
15 Mar
Gildo Mahones
22 Nov
Michael Manring
31 May
Karen Marguth
30 Aug
Doug Miller
18 Oct
Tony Monaco
28 Jun
Stephanie Nakasian
18 Jan
Michael O'Neill
21 Jun
Marlena Shaw
29 Mar
Ben Sidran
12 Apr
Dr Lonnie Smith
19 Jul
Frank Tusa
23 Aug
Diane Witherspoon
27 Sep
Most Recent Castaway - 7th November, 2014
Don Friedman (2014)

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Don Friedman was born right here in San Francisco, but grew up in Los Angeles, where his parents had moved to start a family grocery store in North Hollywood. He'd taken piano lessons up here for several years, but difficulties with his new Southern California teacher caused him to abandon the instrument in his mid-teens. What a loss it would have been to jazz had he not relented shortly afterwards!

Don started going to hear live jazz in the 1950s at the Hollywood Palladium—Stan Kenton's band, for example—and it was there that he first heard bassist Scott LaFaro when LaFaro came through with Buddy Morrow's band. He met LaFaro at the home of Lorraine and Herb Geller, and they would later share a cold-water apartment in New York City.

Don had a good ear, and played in and around Los Angeles with Chet Baker, Buddy Collette, and Dexter Gordon, and also toured with Buddy DeFranco. But he found the LA scene a little too laid-back, so made his move to New York in 1957, just as Bill Evans was making his mark as a leader. (Both would later record with LaFaro.)

Don did four excellent albums for Riverside Records between 1961 and '64 which remain influential. He started touring with his own groups and those of others, and for the past dozen years or so, he was a member of Clark Terry's band (with Dave Glasser, Marcus McLaurine and Sylvia Cuenca), and makes an appearance in the new Clark Terry documentary "Keep On Keepin' On".

Still resident in New York City after almost 60 years, Don remains active on the local scene—and also on the tennis court! It's all too rare a pleasure to have him back in the Bay Area, even if only for a short while.
Pick Artist Album Song Label
# 1 Charlie Parker Charlie Parker with Strings: The Master Takes Everything Happens to Me Verve
# 2 Miles Davis The Complete Birth of the Cool Israel Capitol
# 3 Booker Little Out Front We Speak Candid
# 4 Bill Evans Waltz for Debby My Foolish Heart Riverside
# 5 Miles Davis 'Round Midnight 'Round Midnight Columbia
# 6 Don Friedman The Composer: Live at Jazz Baltica Salzau Delayed Gratification ENJA
# 7 Sonny Rollins The Bridge Without a Song RCA
# 8 Keith Jarrett Whisper Not What Is This Thing Called Love? ECM
Book Philip Roth, "The Human Stain"
Luxury Item A tennis racket