David Friesen - Waterfall Rainbow

Considering how remarkable a bassist David Friesen has long been, it is surprising that he was originally a guitarist and did not focus on the bass until he was 22. Friesen quickly made up for lost time, working with Joe Henderson, Stan Getz, Sam Rivers and Dexter Gordon, and becoming an influential force. His often-gentle and picturesque music shows the influence of folk music and classical along with his own fresh ideas.

The performances on Waterfall Rainbow from 1977 are thoughtful, a bit cinematic, and impressionistic. On various selections, Friesen is joined by classical guitarist Ralph Towner, electric guitarist John Stowell, Paul McCandless on oboe, English horn and bass clarinet, Nick Brignola on flute, drummer Bobby Moses and percussionist Jim Saporito. Since Towner and McCandless have been members of Oregon for decades, the music often falls into the folk/jazz and World Music areas that Oregon explores. Friesen, who is showcased on four unaccompanied pieces, displays a huge note, virtuosic technique and very original ideas, making Waterfall Rainbow one of the highpoints of his career.

SKU: IC1027

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Spring Wind French Festival Waterfall Rainbow Castles & Flags The Peace That Passes Understanding Song of Switzerland Song of the Stars Dancing Spirits Before the Lord Flight of the Angels

Additional Info

Additional Info

Format: Jazz Record
Soloist/Artist David Friesen
Instruments Music and Musicians
Composer No
Accompanist/ Conductor guitarists Ralph Towner and John Stowell, reedman Paul McCandless, flutist Nick Brignola, drummer Bob Moses and percussionist Jim Saporito
SKU IC1027


Customer Reviews (2)

"Exciting Friesen!"Review by Big Toots
IC 1027 Waterfall Rainbow David Friesen

“Waterfall Rainbow,” recorded in 1977, was bassist David Friesen’s third effort as leader. Even at that early stage in his recording career, with this marvelous recording we immediately recognize that Friesen is not only a creative savant (the entire repertoire on the date are brilliant originals, percolating with textures), but, he’s an outstanding bassist with a brilliant, self-taught, no-limits technique and a cannon for a sound (and a sister - award-winning actress, Dyan).

The fare here is contemporary, what today might be pigeonholed as “World Music,” as it embraces diverse cultural grooves (“Spring Wind”) and highly imaginative textures. The incorporation of Paul McCandless’s oboe, English horn and bass clarinet and Nick Brignola’s flute enhance the exotic tone. Both of those players and the rest of the ensemble (including Friesen’s frequent cohort, guitarist David Stowell) are outstanding in performing Friesen’s complex, yet elegant, material and they all perform in both the ensemble and as soloists completely in context with Friesen’s unique material.

There’s a sense of upbeat and up-tempo joy in Friesen’s work (“French Festival”). Even the more colorful, thought-provoking pieces are in that vein (“Castles and Flags,” the beautiful “Song of Switzerland,” featuring a gorgeous Ralph Towner acoustic guitar solo). While not naïve or goofily innocent, this is glass-half-full music and the entire recording glows that way.

Friesen’s extended bass solos are startling (“The Peace That Passes Understanding,” “Song of the Stars,” “Flight of the Angels”). He appears unlimited technically, incorporating double-stops at the drop of a hat and spinning off manically speedy lines that are guitar-like (or maybe even sitar-like).

“Waterfall Rainbow” might be tagged “New Age” or some other sobriquet. However, rest assured it is a niagara of phenomenally performed music and creative artistry of which one can fall into deeply.
(Posted on 6/22/2015)
Waterfall RainbowReview by Simon Sez
With a title such as Waterfall Rainbow, it is not surprising that this album from bassist David Friesen is picturesque, colorful, and an atmospheric type of jazz. Friesen often plays music that is difficult to put in a box, with some of his pieces being as close to classical and folk music as it does to jazz.

On this album, the supporting cast includes two members of Oregon (Ralph Towner and Paul McCandless) and the music sometimes reminds me of that group. Towner’s playing sounds especially beautiful and he blends in well with John Stowell, another great guitarist. But check out the four numbers that are played entirely by Friesen, sometimes on several overdubbed basses. Fascinating stuff.

Simon Sez: David Friesen’s Waterfall Rainbow (IC1027) is as picturesque as its title, with fine group numbers and several bass showcases. (Posted on 5/6/2014)

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