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Jeff Friedman
Slo & Lo  (AC-5047, released 2003)

You may never have heard of Jeff Friedman, but these top artists have: Carla Bley, Steve Swallow, Joe Henderson, Steve Lacy, Randy Weston, Gerry Mulligan, Jack Bruce, Eric Mingus, Max Roach, J.J. Johnson and Karl Berger.

Why? As a composer, arranger, and orchestrator, Jeff has worked with these music greats and many others.

Now for the first time Jeff steps out from behind the scenes with a new record of original compositions, featuring his individualistic guitar playing.

Slo & Lo reflects the sum of Jeff's 25 years as a professional musician. With the harmonic sophistication of jazz, the biting directness of urban blues and the raw energy of rock, the music becomes its own idiom, a kind of "blues noir."

Jeff conceived the music to feature the strengths of four long-time collaborators, each a seasoned veteran and artist in his own right. Joe Mulholland is a bandleader and first-call keyboardist on the busy Boston scene; bassist Michael Farquharson has been nominated for multiple Junos (Canada's Grammy) for his own albums; drummer Andy Plaisted's creativity and versatility are near-legendary; Eric Mingus is internationally active as a singer, bassist and poet.

"Smart people get the blues too. Jeff Friedman has put together an album at once bright and dark, book smart and dirt dumb (in the very best sense of the word). This certainly took careful, crafty preparation, and then willingness to throw caution to the wind when it came to the playing. SLO & LO took a good while to appear; Jeff's reluctance to rush onto disc is to be admired at a time when countless CDs blow through the marketplace. Patience is rewarded; the music tells a touching story with grace and style."

-Steve Swallow and Carla Bley