David Friesen’s film, “More Than Jazz”

July 19th, 2019

 

 

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Since the mid-1970’s, the exceptional bassist David Friesen has played and recorded with legendary musicians like John Handy, Joe Henderson, Billy Harper, Stan Getz, Sam Rivers, Dexter Gordon, Mose Allison, and countless others.  As a leader, he has recorded 78 albums of music.

The critic Dr. Herb Wong wrote of Friesen in Jazz Times:  “Ocean-deep in his sensitivity to the human spirit, Friesen is compassionate and his music founded on integrity and the pursuit of excellence.”

In a unique and soulful six part film documentary, “More Than Jazz,” Friesen shares his life experience in the music as bassist, composer and educator, and takes the viewer into his family life as well.  It is tender, philosophical, and entertaining…

It is available on Youtube, and you can also view it by clicking on the links below.

 

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“Bassist David Friesen is a phenomenon, a player whose musicianship, tone, time and imagination are uncategorizable.”

Nat Hentoff

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MORE THAN JAZZ

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Episode 1

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-Looking into the personal life of jazz musician David Friesen.
-Exploring the compositions “Playground”, “Contours”
-David explains how he was first introduced to music, his beginning years.
-His 50th birthday party, images of his family.
-How David met his wife.
-Time spent with Roland Kirk (in 1964 it was Roland Kirk) and John Coltrane.

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Episode 2

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-David shares his experience playing his 8 compositions with a 40 piece woodwind and brass orchestra in Smila, Ukraine…the birth place of his mother.
-The conductor speaks about David as a musician/composer and person.
-Rehearsing with the orchestra.
-David explains his purpose for playing music.
-David shares about his composition “Going Forth”
-In a coffee shop, David shares a very funny story that happened in a concert with the great jazz pianist Marian McPartland.

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Episode 3

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-Excerpts from the concert with orchestra in Smila, Ukraine.
-Viewing and listening to David’s original music for the short film “To Try Again and Succeed” with narration by Orson Wells.
-“Lament for the Lost, Procession” composition by David Friesen performed with orchestra in Smila, Ukraine.
-Exploring the Friesen composition “Dance With Me”

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Episode 4

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-History of David’s bass instrument “Hemage” as discussed with instrument maker Hermann Erlacher.
-David talks about his early Army days 1961-1963 and the jazz music he was exposed to, and the jazz clubs he visited and played at in Paris, France with some great musicians including drummer Art Taylor, Belgium jazz guitarist Rene Thomas and blues singer Memphis Slim.
-David playing solo bass at the Fohhn speaker company in Nurtingen, Germany.
-David reminisces about his late son Scott and the composition he wrote for him called “Brilliant Heart”
-David conducts a jazz music clinic at the University of Nevada, Reno and in Lviv, Ukraine.

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Episode 5

-View of setting up for concert at the Fohhn speaker company in Nurtingen, Germany.
-David Shares his adventures as a jazz musician in NYC in the 1970’s and 1980’s, his current activities, booking gigs, etc.
-David talks about the young great tenor and soprano musician, Joe Manis.
-David shares about taking Charles Mingus place in a 2 record recording project with Danny Richmond, Don Pullen, George Adams, Jack Walrath in Rome, Italy for Horo Records.
-David painting his CD covers.
-David’s love for frozen yogurt.
-David practicing the piano and sharing about life on the road as a jazz musician.
-David shares his humorous experiences traveling with his large acoustic bass on the planes.

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Episode 6

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-David plays with his trio at the 1979 Newport Jazz festival at Saratoga, NY.
-David’s trip to Lagos, Nigeria and working with the jazz music students.
-David’s Circle 3 Trio on tour in Europe March 2019 with short segments at the Cherkasy Jazz festival in Cherkasy, Ukraine and the Porgy and Bess jazz venue in Vienna, Austria…focusing on life behind the performance stage.

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It’s been said of David Friesen that He does for the art of bass playing what Pythagoras did for the triangles  Patrick Hinely/Jazz  Times  

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David Friesen has recorded over 78 CD’s as a leader/ co-leader and appeared as a sideman or featured artist on more than 100 recordings. He has performed and/ or recorded with many of the great names and legends of jazz including: Stan Getz, Dexter Gordon, Joe Henderson, Sam Rivers, Michael Brecker, Bud Shank, Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Shaw, Freddy Hubbard, Art Farmer, Clark Terry, Joe Venuti, Mal Waldron, Jaki Byard, Kenny Drew Sr., Chick Corea, Milt Jackson, Slim Gaillard, John Scofield, Philly Joe Jones, Elvin Jones, Paul Motian, Jack Dejohnette, Airto Moreira, and many others. He has performed in concert as a soloist (Friesen is one of two or three bassists in the world that is able to play a solo concert and keep an audience riveted) and with his own groups throughout the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, The Netherlands, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Turkey, Poland, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Chile, China, Russia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Nigeria and the Ukraine. 

David Friesen. is .included in 2 recent separate polls as one of the 100 Greatest Jazz Bassists of all time, and one of 20 of the most influential jazz bassists in the history of jazz. 

Friesen was inducted into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame at the first induction ceremony Sept. 2007 and the Oregon Jazz Society Hall of Fame May 2012. 

Friesen has written two musical scores for animated shorts, both of which have been Academy Award Nominees

David Friesen’s original composition Playground placed 2nd in the 2014 International Songwriting Competition with over 18,000 applicants. 

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