Dr. David L. Freeman, was born in Worcester, Massachusetts on November 15, 1942. He was the son of Dr. Harry and Rosanne Freeman. His father was a prominent medical researcher and worked with Gregory Pincus on the development of the birth control pill and developing early psychiatric medications. His mother played piano. At a young age, he fell in love with the piano and studied classical music. He would spend hours at the piano and developed a particular affection for Chopin and Beethoven. His passion for the instrument would last throughout his life.
Dr. Freeman followed his father's path to both Harvard College and Harvard Medical School, and yet through these years, he continued to play and practice the piano. That is how he met his wife, Amanda Freeman, on January 1, 1967. She sat and listened to him as he practiced Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" on a piano in Harvard Medical School's Vanderbilt Hall. Noticing this beautiful Latin American woman watching him, he approached her and introduced himself and thus began a marriage that lasted 45 years.
In the late 1990's, Dr. Freeman rededicated himself to the piano after a decade devoted primarily to writing and researching. He spent several years studying jazz harmony and theory. He amassed a collection of solo piano recordings and became fascinated by piano interpretations of American standards of the mid-twentieth century. He practiced for hours after work and on weekends and began mastering a repertoire of arrangements that he selected. He also began looking for opportunities to play this music and became active with the Boston Piano Amateurs and landed a monthly gig at Boston's Symphony Hall Cafe. His love for this music went beyond simply playing it. He read extensively on the composers and lyricists who created these songs and became an expert on their backgrounds and influences as well. For that reason, I have included the full musical and lyrical credits for each of these pieces of music and would encourage listeners to listen to other works of these remarkable songwriters and lyricists.
In the final decade of his life, Dr. Freeman was able to bring together the three passions of his life; music, medicine and community service. He played daily in the lobby of the Lahey Clinic in Burlington where he worked and he would often express to me the happiness he felt at bringing comfort through music to those who were often anxious or ill. He also played at homes for the elderly and loved to see how the older generation received so much pleasure from hearing the songs of their youth.
This record is a collection of several of his favorite selections. I offered to produce it for him in the spring of 2012 as a way to say 'Thank you' for his considerable help in starting my career as a producer. At first he was hesitant, but then he embraced the idea. He gathered arrangements that he wanted to record and on May 28th, 2012, a burning hot late spring day, we spent the afternoon recording his playing at the Hook Studios in Red Hook, Brooklyn. I planned to mix and master the record with him during a trip to Boston later that summer.
I never got the chance: on July 8, 2012, he passed away suddenly. The last words that were spoken between us on the phone two days earlier were about how much he was looking forward to finishing this record. Instead, I ended up using some of these selections to play at his funeral and then in the subsequent months of grief, I couldn't bring myself to even listen to what we had recorded.
In the spring of 2013, almost a year after we had done the initial sessions, I returned to the recordings and was amazed at their beauty and warmth. With the help of Grammy-winning engineer/producer Bob Power, it was completed.
I'm sure he would be so proud of this collection which he spent countless hours preparing and playing and it gives me so much happiness to be able to continue to share his music, even after he has left this world. Please listen and enjoy.
To a beloved father from a son - Dan FreeMan (CØm1x)
- This record is free, however, if you choose to buy it, all proceeds will be donated to the Boston Piano Amateurs Association.
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