The producer of this 2003 studio session decided to mix things up a bit for veteran jazz pianist Don Friedman by inviting a new rhythm section to play with him. Neither bassist John Patitucci nor drummer Omar Hakim had crossed paths with Friedman on a recording date, though they are both accomplished musicians who provide excellent support for him. The leader planned a set mixing standards and time-tested jazz compositions by various greats. The chemistry is readily apparent in the trio's fluid approach to "Star Eyes" and the light bossa nova setting of "Body and Soul." Friedman's lush, lyrical arrangements of the upbeat ballad "Emily" and the bittersweet "Turn Out the Stars" will invite comparisons to Bill Evans' memorable recordings. There's nothing predictable about the group's interpretation of "'Round Midnight," with each musician finding a new facet to explore within this decades-old jazz standard. Highly recommended.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden