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David Friesen & Denny Zeitlin: In Concert

Jim Santella By

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Two creative artists working as a duo in a live setting serve as a clear example of what the modern mainstream is all about. Bassist David Friesen, always in tune and favoring a lyrical style, adds double stops and slapped percussive sounds to enhance the pair’s output. Pianist Denny Zeitlin, fluid and seamless, swings with a tinge of the blues while improvising in highly creative bursts.

On the four standards, both Zeitlin and Friesen romp through familiar melodies and gradually work their way through improvised changes. Both remain lyrical throughout. However, the pianist enjoys stretching limits by adding avant-garde explorations from time to time. "Airegin" gets particular high-spirited attention from both artists, as the duo pushes the envelope with dramatic intensity that can only come through a deep involvement. Two compositions by Friesen move in separate worlds: one a bouncy blues with march-like rhythm, the other a majestic rubato affair with built-in drama. Two modern mainstream compositions by Zeitlin introduce classical elements while keeping a healthy swing movement alive. The duo’s acoustic instruments carry a purity of sound that places their ideas clearly before several different live audiences. The excellent sound systems have captured Zeitlin and Friesen alone and yet together, as they complement each other with full counterpoint.


Track Listing: Speak No Evil; Moving Parts; Like Someone in Love; Airegin; My Funny Valentine; New Tune Blues; Returning; On the March.

Personnel: Denny Zeitlin- piano; David Friesen- bass.

| Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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