Dan Freedman | Art Attack

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Art Attack

by Dan Freedman

Exciting yet accessible, Freedman advances the state of the art in jazz piano harmonies with this solo, duo, and jazz trio recording of favorite songs.
Genre: Jazz: Piano Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. On Green Dolphin Street (feat. Giba Moojen)
5:01 $0.99
2. Very Early
6:59 $0.99
3. Solar
5:00 $0.99
4. Sweet Georgia Brown
6:00 $0.99
5. Wheatland
5:49 $0.99
6. Chopsticks
3:22 $0.99
7. Time Remembered
4:22 $0.99
8. Michelle
4:51 $0.99
9. Laughing Child
3:57 $0.99
10. Lives At Stake
3:42 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Its unusual to find a pianist who captivates with high-energy improvised fusion lines, and moments later seduces with evocative classic jazz ballad melodies. Dan Freedman’s heritage and character makes him that pianist, and his passion to innovate puts him at the edge of performance artistry.

Strongly influenced by Oscar Peterson, Chick Corea, and Bill Evans, Dan always inserts his own unique sound and style to match the needs of each performance. Always seeing music as an interactive art form that connects player and listener, Dan is very well tuned into the needs of his audience, never taking them too far away from a well-loved melody, yet always offering them something fresh and unusual to focus on. An avid composer not constrained by the labels of any particular genre, Dan has been called upon to provide his original compositions for motion picture and advertising use.
Dan's piano playing and compositions show a clear line of influences stretching back beyond Oscar Peterson, Chick Corea, and Bill Evans, to Art Tatum, Victor Feldman, and Nat Cole. Dan also attentively listens to Hiromi Uehara, Austin Peralta, and Benny Green. He cites non-pianistic musical influences as including Miles Davis, Toots Thielemans, Charlie Parker, Sting, Prince, Blondie, Steely Dan, The Doobie Brothers, The Beach Boys, Queen, and The Beatles. While retaining references to these and other influences, Dan has developed his own unique sound and style, both in his playing and in his compositions.

Now living in Honolulu, Dan was originally born in London, England. He learned to love music and the piano from his parents who were heavily involved in both music and theater. This happily provided Dan with an ideal grounding in the British and American Songbooks. His first regular gig was a weekly radio spot at age 11 as "Dan the piano man" in the United Kingdom, where he mostly played show tunes he learned from watching his parents’ musical theater performances.

Dan graduated from college in the Winter Olympic city of Calgary, Canada, studying jazz piano performance under renowned Canadian pianist Dave Diver at the Mount Royal College Conservatory of Music and Speech Arts, and also at the Berklee College of Music.

Drawn at an early age to computers and software, Dan also earned bachelor's and master's degrees in computer science, specializing in network security and performance. He pursued a 20 year career as a software company serial entrepreneur, and even ran anti-virus company McAfee's security products division in the mid-1990's. His award-winning product lines and companies have been acquired over the years by IBM, Symantec, McAfee, and others.

Dan also fell in love at an early age with the view of the earth from the sky, and has earned pilot licenses and type ratings in several kinds of gliders, airplanes, and helicopters.

After moving to Honolulu in 2007, the creative call of music became loud and clear, and this together with the needs of his family, became Dan's main focus moving forward.

Today, Dan plays for audiences at concerts and more intimate venues at home and around the world, and loves the spark of creativity that comes from sitting in with musicians to "see what happens"!



to write a review

Annie Reuter

Art Attack
There is a quote I recently came across that read, “Music is what feelings sound like.” This couldn’t be a more perfect explanation of Dan Freedman’s debut album, Art Attack. Entirely instrumental, the listener feels the emotion produced throughout each track – words not needed. Freedman, an accomplished jazz pianist and composer, shows listeners the true power of music on his release. Full of emotion, Freedman fills the 10-song disc with graceful and moving piano interludes, having the listener easily hear the pure joy he has playing with each stroke of the keys. While only two songs are Freedman originals, you wouldn’t have guessed it as he brings new life into eight of the remaining jazz standards. The album is a nice mix of piano, piano duo, piano/bass duo and piano/bass/drum trio settings.

Perhaps the liveliest track on the album is first track “On Green Dolphin Street.” A jazz infused song, Freedman demonstrates his prowess at the piano in this jazz trio format. A great way to start the album, “On Green Dolphin Street” is one of those songs you can listen to repeatedly and never get tired of. It’s easy to imagine it being played at a fancy restaurant or concert hall. His improvisational skills only heighten the listener’s regard for him throughout, never letting the listener down. Light percussion and bass accompaniment soon enters, only helping the beauty of the song. Second song, “Very Early” transitions well from the first track. In fact, most of the album runs incredibly smoothly into each other. While “Very Early” is mellower, “Solar” follows with a slightly faster and jazzier vibe.

“Wheatland” and “Chopsticks” bring much variation, but never stray from Freedman’s skilled piano playing. In fact, I don’t foresee a non-likable song on this album. “Sweet Georgia Brown” is edgier and livelier than previous tracks while “Lives At Stake” brings much desired percussion accompaniment closing the album. Any way you look at it, Art Attack is a solid debut album that shows much promise and a long musical career for Freedman.

Dan Freedman

Review from Wildy's World
Prodigal Sons always return home. So it is with Dan Freedman, who returns to his roots as a jazz pianist after 20 years as a software entrepreneur. Showing how close a musician always stays to their music, it took nothing more than an early 2008 concert performance by Hiromi Uehara to throw Freedman a musical headwind that would turn his life once more to music. Born in London, England, Freedman has a weekly slot on BBC Brighton as "Dan The Piano Man" at eleven years of age. After moving to Canada with his family, Freedman majored in jazz piano performance on his way to completed both bachelors and masters degrees in computer science (hence the 20 year detour). Based now in Honolulu, HI, Freedman was so moved by the performance of Uehara that he began playing again the next day. By the end of 2008, he'd already recorded his debut album, Art Attack. Freedman has plans for two more albums in 2009, and I think it's safe to say that he's not looking back.

Freedman's press materials say his greatest influences are Oscar Peterson and Bill Evans. It's very evident on first listen to Art Attack that the jazz spirits of Peterson and Evans inform Freedman's musical consciousness. Freedman takes the impressionist style and runs with it on Art Attack. As with impressionist pianists this can be both a good and not so good thing at times. Freedman finds moment of musical glory embedded in the eight covers and two originals on Art Attack, but also finds moments where the impressions pile up too high upon one another and drown each other out. On balance, the passages and songs that work far outweigh what does not.

Art Attack opens with On Green Dolphin St., a classic played in trio form (piano, drums, bass). It's an egalitarian recording where no one instrument really is subservient to others, like a musical talk show where the instruments converse. There's an Bill Evans vibe that's evident in a relaxed reading of time signatures and the willingness to bend and shape melody lines into pretzels before returning them as they were, unharmed. Freedman pays tribute to Evans on Very Early, re-imagining the Chick Corea/Hiromi Uehara version in a style almost reminiscent of Vince Guaraldi.

Sweet Georgia Brown left me a little bit lost. The Maceo Pinkard classic is performed here as a piano duet, and ultimately that is just too much. The impressionist approach combined with a second piano in duet creates a bit of musical mayhem that was just too much for this listener. Chopsticks is a jaunty series of riffs on classic piano exercise that transforms into, among other things, Rhapsody In Blue along the way. This sounds like it was a lot of fun to play; the sort of divine inspiration that comes when a musician lets themselves have fun with the music.

The absolute highlight of the disc is Freedman's interpretation of Oscar Peterson's Wheatland for bass and piano. Freedman takes us through the gentle ebb and flow of Peterson's creation with a contrapuntal left hand and a minimalist bass line. Wheatland gets to breathe its own metaphysical melody in an inspired performance. Freedman gives an interesting turn next on The Beatles' Michelle, taking the Lennon/McCarthy classic off the pins of rock music and re-inventing it as classical/jazz hybrid. Freedman focuses on dynamic development throughout the song in moving from an almost Chopin presentation to Van Clyburn before falling back to the melodic heart of the song trailing the acoustic waters from whence it originally arose.

Laughing Child is a Dan Freedman original, and in some ways just doesn't belong on this album. Laughing Child is a pop song at heart with a vocal line that cries out of the piano for a singer and words. Laughing Child could migrate to either Adult Contemporary Pop or Broadway without much difficulty, and serves as a hint regarding the diversity and breadth of writing/performing talent that Freedman possesses. Art Attack closes with the surreal and rhythmic Marimba piece Lives At Stake. Lives At Stake sounds like something that might have shown up in session tapes for an early Pink Floyd album.

Dan Freedman comes home to music after twenty years in the corporate professional realm with an inspired debut album in Art Attack. While there are moments that don't work as well as other, the effort on the whole is very much worth your time. Mixing the influences of Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, Brad Mehldau and others with unique and daring choices about structure, timing and harmony, Freedman takes chances that mostly work while giving us a hint of how broad a swath he might cut musically. With two more albums planned for 2009, this could just be the warm-up. A definite must for impressionist jazz fans, jazz piano fans, jazz-inflected pop fans, or people who enjoy an artist who can take you anywhere at any moment for any reason.

Dan Freedman

Review from John Brodeur
With the economy as tight as it is, it’s getting harder for the average American to plunk down their hard-earned cash on a cover charge at the local jazz joint. The good news is, we still have guys like Dan Freedman who can turn our living rooms into dinner clubs. The Hawaii-based jazz pianist and composer recorded his debut disc, Art Attack, at his own Four Hearts Studios, and that very personal touch shows throughout. With a smart mix of original compositions and standards, solos and group works, the album is an engaging, often exciting recording, brimming with enough good ideas to match its performances. In fact, the trio version of “On Green Dolphin Street” that opens the record is among its least interesting attributes; to hear some real ingenuity, skip ahead to “Sweet Georgia Brown”—seriously!—where Freedman overdubs himself into a piano duo, and takes the shopworn tune to unexplored harmonic territory. Freedman is clearly a slave to his craft, and enjoying every minute of it; fans of jazz music should find the same amount of enjoyment in Art Attack.

Dan Freedman

Review from Kelly O'Neil
Jazz music traverses multitudes of circuits and thus possesses a broad spectrum of aficionados. People who like music like some form of jazz, whether it is the fast-paced, ear-splitting bebop, to the cool, groovin’ Latin jazz, to the easy-listening smooth jazz. Dan Freedman is an expert at many styles and knows his way around the keyboard. With his incredible talents, one ponders as to why he did not pursue his musical career sooner.

Art Attack, Freedman’s debut, is a delight. He embraces every tune and makes it his own, making the quick runs sound effortless and the slow ethereal pieces timeless. Two juxtaposing covers that display such attributes are the familiar “Chopsticks” and the Beatles’ “Michelle.” The melody is quasi-distinguishable in snippets but it is more of a friendly reminder as opposed to an aural scavenger hunt. Freedman takes his piano virtuosity to another level in the piano duet “Sweet Georgia Brown.” Since he is playing both overlaying tracks there is no competition between the parts in terms of tone and rhythm. Instead, both parts intertwine with amazing fluidity. The tempo seems to teeter on the edge of losing control due to the busy running eighth notes but this slight fault can easily be remedied as Freedman continues his musical journey with a busy year of touring and completing two new albums.

In addition to his tasteful use of bass and drums in a few choice covers, Freedman excels at carrying the melody himself as evident in the masterful rendering of Bill Evans’ “Very Early” and Freedman’s original songs. “Laughing Child” is a simpler piece in terms of its listenability to those who grow weary of intricate scalar work. This tune is easily accessible and could be expanded upon with any number of instrumental variations. It also plays extremely well as a solo piece when played with stellar musicality as is Freedman’s forte. His other solo work is a fun quirky number for marimba entitled “Lives At Stake.” It is such a deviance from the rest of the album and yet also fits in nicely as an amusing kicker to a collection of well crafted and finely executed pieces. Freedman’s chops are impressive and the jazz world should anxiously be awaiting more cunning music from this talented pianist.