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Star Dance - David Friesen

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 Friesen'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.

SKU: IC1019

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Details

Details

Winter's Fall Duet and Dialogue Dolphin in the Sky Star Dance 1 Rue Brey Fields Of Joy A Little Child's Poem Clouds Children of the Kingdom Mountain Streams

Additional Info

Additional Info

Format: Jazz Record
Soloist/Artist David Friesen
Instruments Music and Musicians
Composer No
Accompanist/ Conductor Paul McCandless - oboe and English horn. John Stowell - electric guitar. Steve Gadd - drums.
SKU IC1019

Reviews

Customer Reviews (2)

"Stellar Dancing"Review by Big Toots
Quality
IC 1019 Star Dance David Friesen

Although bassist David Friesen doesn’t play his instrument “reversed” in the manner of Rocker, Jimi Hendrix, there are times when the bassist’s unique approach to the upright provides that illusion. And, his performance and overall presentation on “Star Dance” reinforces that impression.

Covering 10 extremely insightful and very rhythmically intense tracks, Friesen validates his stance as a virtuoso bassist and brilliant composer. He’s a fearless explorer of melody, metrics and rhythms. Take, for example, Friesen’s solo display on “Duet and Dialog.” He delivers both the melancholic melody and accompaniment simultaneously then breaks into an arco bass statement over a droning ensemble pulse.

In order to display such unique instrumental creativity takes virtuosity and creativity in heaping portions and Friesen and this entire group possess that in volumes. Take “Dolphin in the Sky” where Friesen strums his galloping upright as if it were horizontal and overdubs a brilliant solo. No corny “Ghost Riders in the Sky,” but just as driving and more intense. Also, his ensemble play throughout the session with fine oboist/English hornist Paul McCandless and frequent compadre, guitarist John Stowell - especially where all are synchronous - is fascinating. These ensemble sequences have an understated beauty and power (“Fields of Joy,” “Mountain Streams”). The use of the double reeds with the stringed instruments is a stroke of orchestration genius.

Friesen, a master technician, has a marvelously deep and attractive resonant bass sound (“A Little Child’s Poem”). And, he’s got a vocalist’s (and percussionist’s) approach to playing melody (“1 Rue Brey,” a wild duet with drummer Steve Gadd). Gadd, by the way, is on his studio game adding further precision and virtuosity of his own. As a composer, Friesen is brilliant, spinning off highly sophisticated rhythms, meters and textures from his pen.

“Star Dance” offers wide and wild variance in rhythmic and melodic textures – all of which are unique and appealing. It’s an indescribable romp from a visionary star of universal talent.

(Posted on 5/25/2015)
Star DanceReview by Simon Sez
Quality
David Friesen, a bassist with a big tone and a quiet and thoughtful approach to playing, recorded several of his best albums for Inner City. Friesen became an important bandleader during his period making records for Inner City.

On Star Dance, Friesen teams up with John Stowell, Steve Gadd and Paul McCandless (who plays oboe and English horn). In addition to some songs with all of the musicians, Friesen plays duets with each of the players, giving the set lots of variety. This could be considered jazz folk music, with the quartet fulfilling David Friesen’s musical vision.

Simon Sez: Bassist David Friesen on Star Dance (IC1019) plays thoughtful duets and quartets with John Stowell, Steve Gadd and Paul McCandless.
(Posted on 5/6/2014)

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