Honoring Tradition Without Being in Bondage to Tradition.
I spent a year collecting some of my favorite hymns (words and music) including two original compositions, reharmonizing the music and thinking through the instrumentation and musicians I wanted to use to be a part of this project.
The reharmonizations were, from my perspective, a necessary part of tapping into the potential depth of each hymn, affording the improviser the latitude to construct inner melodies and rhythms that not only help reflect the beauty of each hymn, but also the improvisers deep spiritual connection with each piece and the freedom to create.
"Friesen's Strengths - Awesome technique, power, singing tone, almost metaphysical dedication - have been chronicled often. But there is also an innate nobility, immediately recalling a statement by Vladimir Nabokov; 'Beauty plus pity - that is the closest we can get to a definition of art'. Friesen achieves that beauty: enfolded within it, just beyond the grasp of speech is a compassion closer to the German word for pity, Mitleid, the act of suffering with."
Richard M. Sudhalter/New York Post
"Bassist David Friesen is a Phenomenon, a player whose musicianship, tone, time and imagination are uncategorizable."
"One of the most eminent exponents of the instrument, he maintains an astonishing level of virtuosity."
Leonard Feather/Los Angeles Times
"David Friesen is a musical artist whose originality, zest, skill, prodigious productivity, steadfast faith matched with flexibility (he has worked and/or recorded with a variety of musicians including: Joe Henderson, Paul Motian, John Scofield, Michael Brecker, Chick Corea, Stan Getz, Dexter Gordon, Woody Shaw Billy Harper, Bud Shank, Clark Terry, Joe Venuti, Memphis Slim, and a host of others) and innovative leadership are joyously wed in a man who loves to play and inspires that same love of music in others."