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Patrick Hinely, a writer in Jazz Magazine, quipped ``David Friesen is doing for the bass what Pythagoras did for triangles''. He was referring to the American bass player and composer who has made more than 75 recordings as a leader or co-leader of a group (including working with innovative musicians such as Joe Henderson and Chic Corea). He has also been a sideman on bass in ``countless'' recordings. When Friesen made his tour of New Zealand in 2015 with two talented Kiwis, Dixon Nacey (electric guitar) and Reuben Bradley (drums), this live recording was made in Auckland at the CJC Jazz Club.
The title track opens with a pleasant theme from guitar, and its strings also feature prominently with the slow and gentle melody opening Right From Wrong, before all three instruments make their contributions and more playful tempi are restored in Playground, the following track.
Blue 10 is the opening piece, followed by Sailing, and they both set reflective moods at times. The other improvisations on pieces such as Turn in the Road, Basic Strategy, Zebra, Counterpart and the lengthy Tribute make exploratory journeys that sizzle or simmer gracefully between instruments, earning audience applause. Green Hills Slowly Passing By must surely have been inspired by Friesen's touring. Beautiful bass sounds are prominent throughout the disc.
Nacey characterises Friesen's tunes as ``uncommon, angular, and unusual, but always beautiful''. Bradley has talked about David's wealth of experience and the ``strong, vibrant personality'' in his playing and composing.
Verdict: Easy listening, inventive jazz.