David Friedman, internationally renowned vibraphonist, marimbist, composer and jazz educator, has his own musical message, born of fascinatingly diverse musical influences. Few jazz musicians can claim as broad a spectrum of performing and recording experience, with such varied musical personalities as Leonard Bernstein, Luciano Berio, Bobby McFerrin, Wayne Shorter and Yoko Ono. Friedman has been heard either live or on recordings with, among others, Joe Henderson, Horace Silver, Johnny Griffin, Jane Ira Bloom, Ron Carter and John Scofield. His compositions are featured on Chet Baker’s award winning Enja release, Peace. Friedman is also the featured soloist on this recording.
In 1977, Friedman co-founded the unique vibe-marimba group, Double Image, with Dave Samuels which was nominated for a German "Grammy". Their album, "Double Image", has been re-released as a special edition by Enja Records.
Friedman's Enja release Shades of Change, was voted by Downbeat Magazine as "One of the years best 20 CD". Friedman's trio playing with star drummer Daniel Humair and bassist J.F. Jenny-Clarke, documented on their 1992 live release Ternaire, showcases modern, interactive jazz improvisation, ranging from an aggressive driving swing to tender lyricism.
As a leader in percussion and jazz education, David Friedman heads the Jazz department at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin, Germany as Professor of Jazz studies since 1989. He is also the author of Mirror From Another, a collection of pedagogical etudes for the vibraphone and Vibraphone Technique and Dampening and Pedaling, distributed by Hal Leonard. Mallet players and percussionists worldwide consider this work to be the most important book on the art of phrasing for the vibraphone. Friedman is a devoted teacher and an inspiration to his students, while still an active performer and composer.
Perhaps the most unique of Friedman's accomplishments to date is a solo mallet recording, utilizing multiple vibe and marimba overdubs, creating richly textured soundscapes. This is the first recording of its kind ever done by a mallet performer and is aptly entitled, Air Sculpture, on Traumton Records.
Friedman's project Other Worlds is a trio with an instrumentation and sound all its own, featuring the exciting French accordionist Jean Louis Matinier and the brilliant American bass virtuoso Anthony Cox. Their CD Other Worlds was recorded in November 1996 for Intuition Records and released in December 1997.
In the summer of 2002, Friedman invited vocal virtuoso Bobby McFerrin to help celebrate the official 10th anniversary of the jazz department of the University of the Arts. One of the most exciting moments of this sold out concert event was a spontaneous duo with Friedman and McFerrin.
Whether playing solo, with is new trio, TAMBOUR, duo with Keiko Abe or Dave Samuels, David Friedman breathes long, fluid, angular phrases into his solos, moving well beyond his instruments technical limitations. His compositions are the language of harmonic and rhythmic richness with just a touch of irony. His goal is, after all, to communicate.