“Once in a great while, a musician emerges with such authority and such seemingly effortless originality that his place in the front ranks of his instrument is unquestioned. So it is now with David Friesen. As you shall hear in this album – the first in a series of Friesen sets for Inner City – he not only possesses prodigious technique but more importantly, Friesen has become one of the most compelling story-tellers and mood-explorers on the jazz bass. There is no dearth of astonishingly agile and resourceful bass players these years, but Friesen also says so much. And he speaks in sounds that have seldom been equaled on the instrument for fullness, warmth, and what I can call a spaciousness of spirit that makes Friesens’s music a remarkably regenerating experience. If you think this is hyperbole, stop reading and put on Duet and Dialogue.
“Also evident throughout this session are Friesen’s qualities noted by Maggie Hawthorne, a chronically perceptive jazz critic for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer: ‘A striking player, exploring the limits of the acoustic bass with fearless and joyful eagerness.’ Fearless, because of Friesen’s own formidable inner serenity, a result of his religious beliefs. Joyful, because he is one of those musicians who can never get enough of music, who continually surprises himself with the endless possibilities of musical discovery.
“This album focuses on Friesen as a leader-composer as well as a bassist; but it is germane to point out that his distinctive career as a sideman reveals how much of the scope of jazz he commands. Among the musicians Friesen has worked with are Joe Henderson, Stan Getz, Woody Shaw, Joe Venuti, Ted Curson, Ralph Towner, Slim Gaillard, John Handy, Marian McPartland, Sam Rivers and Billy Harper. I asked one of them, Ted Curson, to characterize Friesen. ‘He’s a genius,’ said Ted. ‘It’s not a term I often use, but that’s what he is. Time, sound, ideas, he’s got it all. And he listens. He can fit in anywhere.’ –Nat Hentoff
Enjoy this classic album by jazz bass virtuoso David Friesen, originally released in 1976. Personnel: David Friesen - acoustic bass. Paul McCandless - oboe and English horn. John Stowell - electric guitar. Steve Gadd - drums.