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  • Writer's pictureArashk Azizi

Between Chairs by Michael Friedinger

"Between Chairs" by Michael Friedinger is an immersive musical experience that transcends traditional genre boundaries, offering listeners a captivating blend of jazz-infused melodies and richly textured compositions. With each of the 12 meticulously crafted pieces on the album, Friedinger showcases his remarkable versatility as a pianist and keyboard player, inviting listeners on a journey through a diverse array of musical influences and inspirations.

From the dynamic opener, "The Swuffle," where Friedinger cleverly combines funk/rock and swing shuffles to create a unique groove he affectionately dubs a "swuffle," to the laid-back vibes of "Cool Breeze," evoking images of a relaxing day at the beach, each track on the album is infused with its own distinct personality and charm.

In "Isipisi," Friedinger pays homage to his short-lived band, "Easypeasy," crafting a breezy, easy-going piece that effortlessly captures the essence of its namesake. Meanwhile, "Um Beijo" serves as a loving tribute to the rich musical traditions of Brazil, with nods to the elegant piano stylings of Dave Grusin woven throughout.

"Time Together with You" is a heartfelt ode to quality time spent with loved ones, while "Bug-A-Loo" draws inspiration from Friedinger's daughter, whose infectious enthusiasm for his music inspired the title. Combining elements of Latin soul jazz with a playful energy, "Bug-A-Loo" is a joyous celebration of creativity and connection.

Other highlights include "In Flight," which channels Friedinger's memories of his first airplane journey with its soaring melodies and exhilarating energy, and "Bahia Nights," a vibrant fusion of baiao and samba reggae paying homage to the Afro-Brazilian culture of Salvador de Bahia.

"Junior" is a playful nod to a musician friend who humorously dubbed Friedinger "Jeff Lorber Junior," while "Kindred Souls" explores the magic of musical collaboration and connection. Finally, "You Are My Home" closes the album with a poignant dedication to Friedinger's wife, capturing the profound sense of belonging and comfort that comes from being with the ones we love.

Throughout "Between Chairs," Friedinger's masterful musicianship and heartfelt compositions shine, creating an immersive listening experience that is sure to resonate with jazz aficionados and music lovers alike. With its diverse range of styles and deeply personal inspirations, this album is a testament to the enduring power of music to touch the soul and stir the imagination. So, sit back, relax, and let the captivating sounds of Michael Friedinger's "Between Chairs" transport you to new and inspiring musical heights.

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