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David Friesen: Two For The Show

Jim Santella By

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Recorded in 1992-93, David Friesen performed duets with each of the artists listed below. A lyrical bassist, Friesen trades fours, solos, leads and accompanies. The duo format lends an air of openness while inviting each artist to express fully. This reissue follows the three recent album releases mentioned on his web page and over two dozen others as a leader. Friesen, one of jazz mainstream’s premier bassists, was born in Tacoma, Washington May 6, 1942. His career received a big boost from trumpeter/leader Ted Curson in 1976 as they worked together for almost two years. An interesting item from Friesen’s biography is his appearance at the 1977 Monterey Jazz Festival, where the enterprising bassist opened the festival playing a cappella. Who says everyone talks during the bass solo?

With Michael Brecker the bassist weaves a countermelody to "Airegin," then goes nose to nose on Friesen’s dramatic "Signs and Wonders." With John Scofield, the duo is equally as contemporary with passion and a moderate amount of tension. A quick and quiet arrangement of "I Want to Be Happy" pairs the bassist with Clark Terry on flugelhorn. Then, equally loose and free, Terry switches to muted trumpet as the duo brings on a subdued version of "Breeze." Two lush ballads with Denny Zeitlin were recorded before a live audience at The Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles. Another ballad, "Alone Together" with Bud Shank, emphasizes melody as the pair dance circles around each other. Their encore is an up-tempo romp that has each spinning melodic lines and trading fours. With a bluegrass conversational approach, Friesen’s "On the Road with Jazz" pairs him with Uwe Kropinski. Their second track is Kropinski’s classical guitar piece "Pianola" on which bass shares the lead voice and both maintain the album’s fresh spirit and respected tradition of articulate swinging.

Track Listing: Airegin; True Blue; I Want to Be Happy; In Times Past; Alone Together; On the Road with Jazz; Signs and Wonders; Old Folks; Breeze; Maybe in Spring; Double Talk (Double Take); Pianola.Collective

Personnel: David Friesen- bass; Michael Brecker- tenor saxophone; John Scofield- electric guitar; Clark Terry- flugelhorn, trumpet; Denny Zeitlin- acoustic grand piano; Bud Shank- alto saxophone; Uwe Kropinski- acoustic guitar.

Title: Two For The Show | Year Released: 2000

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