Discography

David Friesen has recorded over 80 CD's as a leader/ co-leader and appeared as a sideman or featured
artist on more than 100 recordings. Below is a list of his more recent releases with samples of the recordings.

View full list of recordings as a leader/co-leader View full discography of recordings as a sideman

To buy CDs directly from David Friesen with his signature send email to cpm@davidfriesen.net

Passage - David Friesen & Bob Ravenscroft

David Friesen: Hemage Bass
Bob Ravenscroft: Ravenscroft Grand Piano

© Origin Records 2021
With decades of friendship uniting them, two towering figures in music and entrepreneurship - David Friesen, an acclaimed bassist and musical visionary for 50 years, and Bob Ravenscroft, pianist, maker of the Ravenscroft Grand Piano and a force in Arizona's cultural landscape, elected to surrender control to the musical spirits in creating their first duo recording. With just their instruments, wide open ears, and little forethought, musical themes unfold spontaneously as uncharted areas of harmonic and melodic viewpoints reveal themselves. Movement through the many brief "tunes" unveils a more expansive structure of sound, their harmonious synchronicity offering surprising musical moments along the way.

Track List:

  1. In the Place of Callng‭
  2. Acceptance‭
  3. Yielding‭
  4. Obedience‭
  5. Transition‭
  6. Belief‭
  7. Understanding‭
  8. Challenged‭
  9. Victory‭
  10. Direction‭
  11. Thankfullness‭
  12. Still Water‭
  13. Forward‭
  14. Voyage‭
  15. Awareness‭
  16. Struggle‭
  17. Stillness‭
  18. Family‭
  19. Looking Past‭
  20. Journey‭
  21. Faith‭
  22. Commitment‭
  23. Perseverance‭
  24. Resolution‭
  25. Prayer‭

Testimony - David Friesen with Orchestra and Quartet

David Friesen: Hemage Bass, Piano, Percussion
Eugene Dobrovolsky: Vibrapone
Alexi Fantaev: Drums, Percussion
Mykola Ryshkov: Tenor Sax
National Academic Symphonic Band of Ukraine Conducted by Oleksii Vikulov

© Origin Records 2020
A major international jazz figure for over 50 years, bassist-composer David Friesen continues his unflagging process of creating new defining works, with the ambitious, expansive, and deeply personal musical explorations found on Testimony. Through the desire to better understand his Mother's Ukrainian heritage, and with inspired leg-work from his Czech-based assistant, N atalie Digtyar, Friesen found himself on a 2015 tour of family landmarks in Smila, Ukraine, fully researched and led by a television crew and the local historical museum. Meeting Oleksandr Pirozhenko, director of the National Academic Symphonic Band of Ukraine, set in motion the collaboration heard here, beginning with a sold-out 2016 "homecoming" concert in Smila's Concert Hall, followed by this live recording from Kiev's National Philharmonic Hall in December, 2018. Arrangements of Friesen's profoundly spiritual compositions unfold, offering passages exploding with orchestral grandeur alongside lone whispers from solo piano, vibes or bass, and intimate quartet vignettes, all reflecting the myriad emotions exposed through his journey of ancestral discovery.

Track List:

  1. Prelude‭
  2. Still Water‭
  3. Meaningful‭
  4. Distant Shores‭
  5. Tribute‭
  6. Sequence‭
  7. Another Time, Another Place‭
  8. Time Never Ends‭
  9. Deep South BLues‭
  10. My Faith, My Lie‭
  11. Make Believe‭
  12. New Ballad‭
  13. Sailing‭
  14. Going Forth‭
  15. Pumpkin‭
  16. New Hope‭
  17. Lament for the Lost‭

Interaction

David Friesen: Hemage Bass, Piano
Joe Manis: Saxophone
Charlie Dogget: Drums (disk 1)
Reuben Bradley: Drums (disk 2)

© Origin Records 2019
It is clear from the outset that all of the musicians are completely attuned to Mr Friesen's vision and artistry. Their interpretation of this music is extraordinarily articulate. For his part Mr Friesen creates an extraordinary space for the other musicians to express themselves. In turn, each of the musicians responds with idiomatic playing that eschews grooves and licks. Each interpretation suggests that this music is deeply interiorized, is informed by thoughtfulness and with fully-engaged emotions. The result is performances that come from a special place and enhance the already complex beauty of this music.
RAUL DA GAMA, JAZZDAGAMA

Disk 1

  1. Neves
  2. Cross Fire
  3. Sequence
  4. Flight of the Angels
  5. New Tune Blue
  6. Exclusively Yours
  7. 1969 Rolls Royce
  8. In House
  9. Interaction
  10. Soft as Silk
  11. Skip Trip
  12. No Dollars, No Cents
  13. Evening Spring

Disk 2

  1. Song for Tristan
  2. Flight of the Angels
  3. Skip Trip
  4. Going Forth
  5. At Last, At Rest
  6. Off Center
  7. Distant Shores
  8. Basic Strategy
  9. My Faith, My Life

My Faith, My Life

David Friesen: Solo Hemage Bass, Shakuhatchi, Piano

© Origin Records 2018
Anyone up for a two disc tour de force from a contemporary master playing at the penultimate part of his game with so much yet to explore? One disc solo bass and one disc solo piano, Friesen makes a statement like never before as this instrumental music sails way past category showing what it really means to play your heart out. Simply masterful stuff from a master making you hear things you never thought you could hear from one man and one ax. Killer stuff that'll leave you breathless.​
CHRIS SPECTOR, MIDWEST RECORD

Disk 1 - Solo Hemage Bass, Shakuhatchi

  1. Ancient Kings
  2. Another Anthem
  3. Children of the Kingdom
  4. Roof Tops
  5. Color Pool
  6. Long Trip Home
  7. Sitka in the Woods
  8. Martins Balcony.mp3
  9. Prelude
  10. Sons and Daughters
  11. Islands
  12. Flight of the Angels
  13. Lament for the Lost - Procession

Disk 2 - Solo Ravenscroft Grand Piano

  1. Sequence
  2. A Light Shining Through
  3. Araya
  4. Still Waters
  5. Resurgence
  6. Rights From Wrong
  7. Another Time, Another Place
  8. Playground
  9. 1969 Rolls Royce
  10. Perserverance
  11. New Hope
  12. Song for Ben
  13. Only Just Yesterday
  14. Evening Spring
  15. Time Changes
  16. My Faith, My Life

Structures

David Friesen: Hemage Bass, Piano
Joe Manis: Saxophone
Larry Koonse: Guitar

© Origin Records 2017

David Friesen uses his unique Hemage Bass to create a two cd set of intimate duets, one with saxist Joe Manis and the other with cool toned guitarist Larry Koonse. The result on the former is a tender and reflective mix of pieces such as the nimble grooved "Martin's Balcony" with delightful soprano and a warm vibrato’ d "Brilliant Heart" featuring a warm tenor. Friesen throws in a little piano on the post bopping "New Hope" and pastoral "Going Forth" while his bass is attractively tensile on "Roof Tops."

With Koonse, the moods go chamber soft on "Make Believe" with an easy, calm bop during "Romantic." The strings create dewdrops of delight for "My Faith, My Life" and do wonders with watercolors on the pastel-toned "New Hope." Saying much by whispering.

GEORGE W. HARRIS, JAZZ WEEKLY

Disk 1 - Duets with Joe Manis

  1. Wrinkle
  2. Basic Strategy
  3. Brilliant Heart
  4. Martins balcony
  5. Left Field Blues
  6. New Hope
  7. Roof Tops
  8. Seam Line
  9. Going Forth
  10. Lament for the Lost/Procession

Disk 2 - Duets with Larry Koonse

  1. Make Believe
  2. New Hope
  3. Romantic
  4. Quietly Unfolding
  5. Alaskan Waters
  6. Undisclosed
  7. At Last, At Rest
  8. Passage
  9. My Faith, My Life

Bactrian

David Friesen: Hemage Bass, Piano
Glenn Moore: Acoustic Bass, Piano

© Origin Records 2017
It's not often you get to listen to two masters of the bass on one album... this is kind of a "reunion" recording... t hey recorded together way back in 1977, and have now captured the results of a recent tour through Europe together. As you listen to songs like the lively "Hoe Down", you'll hear that from a jazz standpoint, there are few players that can equal their dexterity - they'll have you up & dancin' 'round the barn with glee; every note on this song is pure joy! Glen also plays some beautiful piano on the intriguing "Free Play"... this tune may not be for everyone's ears, but I loved it. What's so wonderful about their work together is that it demonstrates just how a jazz friendship can evolve... nearly 50 years of playing together since that first recording in the '70's. My personal favorite of the eleven pieces offered up is also the longest (9:41), "Kontrast"... it couldn't be more aptly named, and is proof positive that you've landed a sonic gem. I give David & Glen a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an "EQ" (energy quotient) rating of 4.99 for this splendid album.
DICK METCALF, IMPROVIJAZZATION

Track List:

  1. Still Waters‭
  2. Free Play‭
  3. Hoe Down‭
  4. Soft as Silk‭
  5. Caravan‭
  6. Return‭
  7. Seam Line‭
  8. Time and Time Again/Brilliant Heart‭
  9. Summer Time‭
  10. Kontrast‭
  11. Bactrian‭

Another Time Another Place

David Friesen: Hemage Bass
Dixon Nacey: Guitar
Reuben Bradley: Drums

© Rattle 2017
At Wellington's newest jazz venue, the cozy and intimate Pyramid Cub, the trio clicked together from the opening bars, presenting many of the tunes from their marvelous new recording. Ingeniously complemented by Bradley and Nacey, Friesen alternately plucked, stroked, and slapped at his custom-made bass, curling over and around his instrument, leading without over-imposing, and coaxing out varying levels of intensity with just a smile or a glance. The seventy-five year-old (who has the wizened demeanour of a slightly demented, but charmingly congenial garden gnome) was never just backing the other musicians, but literally positioned right in the middle, directing and responding. His intuitively crafted and coherent solos combined a deep-toned, romantic approach with a clipped and funky swing at faster tempos. Fiery double-stops and intense lyrical passages alternated with softer, guitar-like strumming. Even when electrified, his Hemage bass (designed and constructed by Austrian Hermann Erlacher) is unmistakably a string instrument, and his lateral style exposed how utterly predictable and pedestrian most rock/fusion bass playing has become. The trio delivered a performance full of subtle nuance, delicate shadings, and elegant grace, demonstrating precisely why the Wellington Jazz Collective provides the ideal venue for discriminating musicians who enjoy presenting their work to an appreciative audience in an intimate and informal environment.
Howard Davis, New Zealand

Track List:

  1. Blue 10‭
  2. Sailing‭
  3. Right From Wrong‭
  4. Playground‭
  5. Another Time Another Place‭
  6. Turn in the Road‭
  7. Basic Strategy‭
  8. Green Hills Slowly Passing By‭
  9. Counterpart‭
  10. Zebra‭
  11. Tribute‭

Triple Exposure

David Friesen: Hemage Bass
Greg Goebel: Piano
Charlie Doggett: Drums

© David Friesen/Origin Records 2016

The stamp of protean bassist David Friesen is all over this resonant album which ends too soon despite a length of nearly an hour. From the striking cover art to Friesen's 11 originals, Triple Exposure exemplifies individuality. At the same time, it's profoundly collaborative, a celebration of interplay rather than ego.

On tunes such as the rolling "Rainbow Song" and the wistful "Another Time, Another Place," Friesen, pianist Greg Goebel and drummer Charlie Doggett never intrude on each other, let alone the listener. Their weave draws the listener in to a unique collective consciousness.

The soundscape is as equitable as the music on an album bracketed by "Whetstone," a sparkling track propelled by the bright churn of Doggett's drums, and "Open Country," a medium-tempo showcase for Goebel's darkling pianistics and Friesen's carefully chosen notes.

Based in Portland, Oregon, the Circle 3 Trio speaks of deep respect, a joyous and thorough work ethic and a geniality that brings sunlight to even the grayer, more deliberate tracks like "Side Step" and "Right From Wrong," a tune that begins in a brooding fashion, then brightens and accelerates.

A similar kind of tension characterizes "Let It Be Known," an elegantly martial, ultimately bristling tune paced by Friesen's Hemage bass, a custom Austrian instrument that gives this group extra, unusually plummy, pop. While Friesen rarely solos, his distinctive sound is a constant.

Ultimately, Triple Exposure is a successfully intended pun. As the members of this trio circle each other, they make the listener part of their musical family.

CARLO WOLFF, DOWNBEAT

Track List:

  1. Whetstone‭
  2. Turn in the Road‭
  3. Bright Light Sky‭
  4. Rainbow Song‭
  5. Side Step‭
  6. Another Time, Another Place‭
  7. Right From Wrong‭
  8. Let It Be Known‭
  9. Soft As Silk‭
  10. Everything We Are‭
  11. Open Country‭

Where the Light Falls

David Friesen: Hemage Bass
Greg Goebel: Piano
Charlie Doggett: Drums
Larry Koonse - special guest: Guitar

© Color Pool Music 2014

Widely acknowledged as one of the finest bass players over the last forty years, David Friesen's Circle 3 Trio and Where the Light Falls may be his finest release yet.

Remember melody? Improvisational music was built around the strength of melody long before meter and technique moved to the head of the class. Friesen never forgot melody, he manipulates and manufactures all the possibilities that exist in a simple unadorned melody. David Friesen's technique speaks for itself.

A couple of points immediately jump out with the first being that this two disc set happens to be from some live shows in Arizona and Oregon. The fabulous guitarist Larry Koonse joins the ensemble and the melodic adventures are steeped in color and are delightfully nuanced. Simplicity may be the ultimate in sophistication but Friesen elevates the melodic flow and the other music co-conspirators would seem to follow suit. Another point of note would be all compositions are originals and the consistency in ebb and flow is amazing.

There may be bass players that are technically more proficient purely from a "flash" point of view but one would be hard pressed to find a better artistic approach to melody that David Friesen.

A stunning recording. Rich yet organic. Melodic yet free from convention. David Friesen is certainly considered one of the finest artists over the last forty years for a reason.

BRENT BLACK, BOP-N-JAZZ

Disk 1

  1. Playground
  2. Dance With Me
  3. Left Field Blues
  4. A Road Less Traveled
  5. Sailing
  6. Green Hills Slowly Passing By
  7. Zebra
  8. Unfolding
  9. Dark Resolve
  10. Day Of Rest

Disk 2

  1. Stepping Stones
  2. Reaching For The Stars
  3. Counterpart
  4. Song For Ben
  5. Overland
  6. Blue 10
  7. Contours
  8. My Dance
  9. Tribute

Morning Star

David Friesen: Hemage Bass
Rob Davis: Tenor, Soprano Saxophone
Tim Wilcox: Tenor Saxophone
Dan Gaynor: Piano
Charlie Doggett: Drums

© Colorpool Music 2013
An amazing recording/collection of traditional Christmas songs played in a completely different way. All selections have been reharmonized and the playing is extraordinary. This CD can be played year ‘round, not just at Christmas time, so versatile is it.

Track List:

  1. O Come, O Come Emmanuel‭
  2. Away in a Manger‭
  3. Angels Sing/Hark the Herald Angel Sing‭
  4. What Child is This?‭
  5. O Come All Ye Faithful‭
  6. O Holy Night‭
  7. Silent Night‭

Briliant Heart

David Friesen: Hemage Bass
Greg Goebel: Piano
Larry Koonse: Guitar
Charlie Doggett: Drums

© ITM 2013

I have a number of 70s and early 80s chamber, quasi-chamber, and Avant-chamber jazz LPs that get a LOT of play on my turntable: Burton, Coryell, Oregon, and so on, and I really liked David Friesen's sides back then (and still do), especially with John Stowell, because Dave's bass work stood so clearly out within the trio formats he tended towards, excavating rich interplay within intriguing spaces, reifying the instrument to an equal voicing with other participants. Waterfall Rainbow, Through the Looking Glass, Storyteller, Star Dance, Inner Voice, and others—maaaaaan, were those great slabs! Thus, not having picked up his output for quite a while, I was a touch wary when receiving this latest from the guy. Had he sold out and gone jazz lite on us? That old literate eloquence, had it survived the decades? His absorbing post-bop semi-neoclassical attitude, was it still there? I worried as I tore away the shrink-wrap and tossed the disc in the player.

Well, I needn't have invested so much paranoia in my cerebrations 'cause this is a really fine outing finding Friesen companioned by about as consummate a set of kindred spirits as ever he's recruited. One of the few qualitative differences is that his bass isn't always quite as front stage as it used to be, though ever detectable and as inventive as back in the heyday. Painting the Blues, for one, gives him a rostrum on which to expound, and the result is marvelous. There are so few bassists who wring as much out of the instrument as he does, and the axe he's using, the Hemage electric upright, is an astonishing instrument, the perfect cross between acoustic and electric but vastly favoring the archetypal contrabass resonance over electric tonicities. In fact, the sound is so overwhelmingly appetizing that I'm now thinking of purchasing one.

Brilliant Heart is titled for Friesen’s son, Scotty, who passed away at the much too young age of 41 in 2009, and the art shown throughout the release is his: one piece a sort of cross between Marshal Arisman and Picasso (the cover), another an arresting dimensional kineto-abstract work (the centerfold of the liner), among others. His dad's music has always been among the more ineffable bodies of work in jazz, so it's hardly surprising Scotty's would have been an unorthodox mind and spirit. Greg Goebel mans a piano with two sophisticated hands, old pro Larry Koonse wields a boppy guitar, and drummer Charlie Doggett, frequently absent from the cuts, exhibits wondrous use of his percussive sounds, truly remarkable discernment (start with Want of Method and go forward from there), but the sum of the whole, as is always the case with Friesen's collogues , is far greater than the figuration of its parts. He has forever tread outside the ordained paths and will never cease to do so, so you can begin with confidence from any point in his career—with this CD, with his debut, anywhere—and be dumbstruck with awe at the pure artistry of it all.

Mark S. Tucker

Track List:

  1. Sailing‭
  2. Violin‭
  3. Want of Method‭
  4. Painting the Blues‭
  5. My New Gate‭
  6. Where the Light Falls‭
  7. Brilliant Heart‭
  8. Purple Painting‭
  9. My Dog Elie‭
  10. Backyard Haven‭
  11. Circle of Three‭
  12. Be at Rest Oh My Soul‭
  13. Scotty F.‭

Live in China

David Friesen: Hemage Bass
Lawrence Ku: Guitar
Alex Haavik: Ten. and Sop. Sax

© Color Pool Music 2012

Track List:

  1. Still Waters‭
  2. Wrinkle‭
  3. Seam Line‭
  4. Araya‭
  5. Off Center‭
  6. Brilliant Center‭
  7. Wrap Up‭

Circle of Three

David Friesen: Hemage Bass
John Gross: Tenor Sax
Greg Goebel: Piano

© ITM 2011
David Friesen’s new album with his Circle 3 Trio is a deeply personal statement, from the clean, stimulating compositions that form the bulk of the disc to the original mixed-media collage that adorns the cover. As such, the music here feels buttressed by the support of real life experience, and almost always the listener gets the sense that highly individuated musical concepts are in play. The group wrestles with aspects of repetition and pace on the album’s opener, “Whetstone,” on which drummer Charlie Doggett and pianist Greg Goebel lock into a tenaciously ascending groove that brings the song to a fluid, shimmering close. And on “Let It Be Known,” piano and bass create an interlocking framework of punctuated notes, only to tug at the joints and junctions as the song goes on, testing its internal strength. Friesen plays a Hemage electric upright bass, and the warm, voice-like tone he extracts from that instrument is yet another facet of this album’s poetic quality. It is particularly compelling on “Everything We Are,” a brisk waltz-time number on which Friesen solos with the care and attention of a master sculptor; each stroke of the string is heard with immense clarity, lending a glowing sense of humanity to the shape of his lines. The waltz meter seems a comfortable form of conversation for this group, as two of the album’s other highlights—“Turn In The Road” and “Rainbow Song”—are also in 3/4. Despite their metric similarity, these songs are stylistically worlds apart. “Turn” is a quiet, windblown song with stretches of dark clouds rumbling through clear skies. With its internal focus and skin-close simpatico, it is reminiscent of Bill Evans’ trio work in the 1960s. “Rainbow,” meanwhile, is chest-thumping and exultant, a declaration of musical presence that swells from a brooding introduction into a climactic finale.
Brian Zimmerman DownBeat

Track List:

  1. When Will You Return?‭
  2. Song For Tristan‭
  3. Araya‭
  4. This and That‭
  5. The Light Inside Freswick Castle‭
  6. Serenade‭
  7. One Last Time‭

Vanishing the Darkness

David Friesen: Hemage Bass
Jay Thomas: Flugelhorn
Randy Porter: Piano
Alan Jones: Drums
Crystal Gray: Piano

© Color Pool Music 2009
Fantastic album!!! 5 stars!!
Amazon Review

Track List:

  1. There is a Longing‭
  2. Amazing Grace‭
  3. Fairest Lord Jesus‭
  4. Be Still My Soul‭
  5. Holy, Holy, Holy‭
  6. Be at Rest, Oh My Soul‭
  7. Take My Life‭
  8. Thank You Dear Lord‭
  9. For the Beauty of the Earth‭
  10. Abide With Me‭

Five & Three Quintet and Trio Music

Quintet

David Friesen: Hemage Bass
John Gross: Tenor Saxophone
Rob Davis: Tenor and Soprano Saxophone
Dan Balmer: Guitar
Gary Hobbs: Drums
Charlie Doggett: Drums

Trio

David Friesen: Hemage Bass
Rob Davis: Tenor Sax
Greg Goebel: Piano


© Color Pool Music 2009

“Only connect …,” E.M. Forster wrote as an epigraph to his novel Howards End. Connection—or heightened musical (and human) interaction—is the hallmark of David Friesen’s newest CD, Five & Three, which features offsetting work by his quintet (David on Hemage bass, John Gross on tenor sax, Rob Davis on tenor and soprano sax, Dan Balmer, guitar, Gary Hobbs and Charlie Doggett, drums) and a trio consisting of David, Rob Davis on tenor sax, and Greg Goebel on piano.

These original compositions by David Friesen are not just interpreted but created by superior musicians—all of whom hail from Portland, Oregon or the Northwest area—totally at home with one another, a genuine musical family. Medieval mystic Meister Eckhart said, “If the only prayer you say in your whole life is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.” This recording is filled with such gratitude, and the overall effect is one of constant appreciation and awe.

William Minor

Disk 1 - Quintet

  1. Goal In Mind
  2. In My Heart
  3. Blue 10
  4. Every Other Time
  5. You and You Alone
  6. Z
  7. Shu Wen

Disk 2 - Trio

  1. Later in the Day
  2. The Last Goodbye
  3. Sunset Blue
  4. Only Just Yesterday
  5. Wrinkle
  6. Within These Walls
  7. One Moment In Time

With You in Mind

David Friesen: Acoustic Bass
Gary Versace: Piano

© Summit Records 2001

Never talk to your neighbor during the bass solo. You’ll miss the best part of many a performance. The artist moves up and down that delicate, centuries-old instrument, plucking one melody after another. By working in duo format with pianist Gary Versace, bassist David Friesen ensures that no one will care to converse during the performance. The pair captures your attention with gentle rhythmic motion and light, ethereal harmony. The session builds on tradition to express fresh ideas.

Standards “You and the Night and the Music” and “All or Nothing at All” receive mellow recognition at the start and finish. The remainder of each tune, however, allows space for each artist to explore. Pleasant and tranquil, the result carries the listener on a mid-summer journey through the country. The rest of the program is original music that both have contributed. “Sal’s Lament,” by the pianist, sums up most of the session thoroughly. On legato phrases, Versace overlaps tones and allows the harmony to penetrate the senses. It’s gentle music for gentle ears. In his more energetic explorations, however, the pianist whips up a gentle storm with clipped phrases and detached themes. Versace’s drier, up-tempo counterpoint contrasts markedly with Friesen’s seamless approach. The bassist allows his tones to ring fully and connects phrases naturally. At times, you can even hear him breathing in time with his bass phrasing. It’s that contrast and the gentle approach that makes this recommended album so interesting. Variety keeps the session fresh, while artistic expression captures your focused attention.

JIM SANTELLA

Track List:

  1. Change of Heart‭
  2. With Discretion‭
  3. All or Nothing At All‭
  4. Narrow is the Path‭
  5. You and the Night and the Music‭
  6. Sals Lament‭
  7. Soon Enough‭
  8. Little Honest Eyes‭
  9. Waltz for Evan‭
  10. Tango Amour‭
  11. With You in Mind‭

Remembering Mal Waldron

David Friesen: Acoustic Bass
Mal Waldron: Piano

© Soul Note Music 2006

The times Mal and I spent together on the road playing music or visiting with each other in each other’s home were always filled with laughter, great conversation and food and at least a dozen or more games of chess. I never met a musician whose concentration was more focused and centered on the music. His intensity filled the room. Our music together was based upon mutual trust and respect…the space that initiates independence was always a necessary and positive factor for us both.

Deep inside, music was Mal’s life…a place where he knew that if he stopped…so would his breathing. A totally unique person and musician, unpretentious in every way and always giving no less than one hundred percent when composing or playing the piano.

David Friesen

Track List:

  1. If I Were a Bell‭
  2. Fire Waltz‭
  3. Round Midnight‭
  4. With a Song in My HEart‭
  5. You Mean Me‭
  6. Someday My Prince Will Come‭
  7. All Gods Children‭

Connection

Duo

David Friesen: Hemage Bass
Larry Koonse: Guitar

Trio

David Friesen: Hemage Bass
Larry Koonse: Guitar
Joe LaBarbera: Drums


© ITM Archives 2006

Saying bassist David Friesen is a special musician is an understatement. He gets so deep within a song, be it a standard or an original, that a rare sense of wholeness is achieved, with nothing left to mine. The tales Friesen tells contain an almost spooky sense of peace, extended by an equally rich melodic and rhythmic gift. "Spiritual music" is a corny label, but Friesen's music breathes with something beyond the typical language of improvisation. Disc 1 with guitarist Larry Koonse sometimes recalls the idyllic ambience of Pat Metheny's BRIGHT SIZE LIFE. This is due in some part to Koonse's similar tonal palette, but also in the interaction between the musicians: Their effortless conjuring of a mood akin to a clear mountain stream is undeniably Metheny-esque, and just as sublime.

The inclusion of Joe La Barbera to the improvisation on disc 2 at first seems a distraction. The Friesen-Koonse duo works on such an intimate level that the drums almost break up the mental flow, moving the listener from the first row to middle of the house. But soon enough the ears adjust and Friesen's magic returns.

These original compositions by David Friesen are not just interpreted but created by superior musicians—all of whom hail from Portland, Oregon or the Northwest area—totally at home with one another, a genuine musical family. Medieval mystic Meister Eckhart said, “If the only prayer you say in your whole life is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.” This recording is filled with such gratitude, and the overall effect is one of constant appreciation and awe.

William Minor

Disk 1 - Duo

  1. The Love
  2. Within These Walls
  3. With Discretion
  4. Left Field Blues
  5. One Last Time
  6. Seam Line
  7. Stars Slowly Moving Above
  8. Unlike No Other
  9. Nu Blu
  10. Jazz Pascaglia
  11. Still Waters
  12. Landslide
  13. After Awhile
  14. Like Father
  15. All the Things You Are

Disk 2 - Trio

  1. Ongoing Theme
  2. All BLues
  3. If I Should Lose You
  4. Dedicated to You
  5. With a Song in My Heart
  6. Old Folks
  7. My Funny Valentine
  8. How Deep is the Ocean