David Friesen’s film, “More Than Jazz”

July 19th, 2019

 

 

.

.

.

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.

 

.

.

___

.

.

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

Nat Hentoff

.

*

.

 

.

.


MORE THAN JAZZ

.

 

Episode 1

.

-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.

.

.

Episode 2

.

-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.

.

.

Episode 3

.

-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”

.

 

 .

 

 

Episode 4

.

-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.

.

.

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.

.

.

Episode 6

.

-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.

.

.

.

 

 

.

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  

.

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. 

.

.

.

.

 

Share this:

Comment on this article:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

In this Issue

Interviews with three outstanding, acclaimed writers and scholars who discuss their books on Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, and Cole Porter, and their subjects’ lives in and out of music. These interviews – which each include photos and several full-length songs – provide readers easy access to an entertaining and enlightening learning experience about these three giants of American popular music.

Poetry

The winter collection of poetry offers readers a look at the culture of jazz music through the imaginative writings of its 32 contributors. Within these 41 poems, writers express their deep connection to the music – and those who play it – in their own inventive and often philosophical language that communicates much, but especially love, sentiment, struggle, loss, and joy.

Interview

NBC Radio-photo by Ray Lee Jackson / Public domain
In a Jerry Jazz Musician interview, acclaimed biographer James Kaplan (Frank: The Voice and Sinatra: The Chairman) talks about his book, Irving Berlin: New York Genius, and Berlin's unparalleled musical career and business success, his intense sense of family and patriotism during a complex and evolving time, and the artist's permanent cultural significance.

Interview

Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Carl Van Vechten Collection
Richard Crawford’s Summertime: George Gershwin’s Life in Music is a rich, detailed and rewarding musical biography that describes Gershwin's work throughout every stage of his career. In a Jerry Jazz Musician interview, Crawford discusses his book and the man he has described as a “fresh voice of the Jazz Age” who “challenged Americans to rethink their assumptions about composition and performance, nationalism, cultural hierarchy, and the racial divide.”

Interview

photo unattributed/ Public domain
In a Jerry Jazz Musician interview with The Letters of Cole Porter co-author Dominic McHugh, he explains that “several of the big biographical tropes that we associate with Porter are either modified or contested by the letters,” and that “when you put together these letters, and add our quite extensive commentary between the letters, it creates a different picture of him.” Mr. McHugh discusses his book, and what the letters reveal about the life – in-and-out of music – of Cole Porter.

Book Excerpt

The introduction to John Burnside's The Music of Time: Poetry in the Twentieth Century – excerpted here in its entirety with the gracious consent of Princeton University Press – is the author's fascinating observation concerning the idea of how poets respond to what the Russian poet Osip Mandelstam called “the noise of time,” weaving it into a kind of music.

Short Fiction

photo Creative Commons CC0
Short Fiction Contest-winning story #53 — “Market & Fifth, San Francisco, 1986,” by Paul Perilli

Poetry

photo by Eric Frommer (transformed from color)/CC BY-SA 2.0
Two poems of reflection and remembrance, by Michael L. Newell and Russell DuPont

Art

"Speaking in Tongues" by Charles Ingham
Charles Ingham’s “Jazz Narratives” connect time, place, and subject in a way that ultimately allows the viewer a unique way of experiencing jazz history This edition’s narratives are “Released from Camarillo State Hospital, Charlie Parker Plays Jack’s Basket Room,”“Diz Railing at the Cosmos,” and “Speaking in Tongues”

Book Excerpt

A ten page excerpt from The Letters of Cole Porter by Cliff Eisen and Dominic McHugh that features correspondence in the time frame of June to August, 1953, including those Porter had with George Byron (the man who married Jerome Kern’s widow), fellow writer Abe Burrows, Noel Coward, his secretary Madeline P. Smith, close friend Sam Stark, and his lawyer John Wharton.

Interview

photo by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress
Con Chapman, author of Rabbit's Blues: The Life and Music of Johnny Hodges discusses the great Ellington saxophonist

Jazz History Quiz #134

Photo by Brian McMillen/Brian McMillen Photography
Influenced by Charlie Parker and Phil Woods (pictured), before forming his own group this alto player got his start in Buddy Rich’s Big Band, and shortly thereafter played with Lionel Hampton. While leading his own band, he was famous for playing bebop covers of songs such as “The I Love Lucy Theme,” “Come Fly With Me,” and “Hooray for Hollywood,” and often performed with singer Eddie Jefferson. Who is he?

Book Excerpt

This story, excerpted from Irving Berlin: New York Genius by James Kaplan, describes how Berlin came to write his first major hit song, “Alexander’s Ragtime Band,” and speaks to its historic musical and cultural significance.

Pressed for All Time

In this edition, producer Tom Dowd talks with Pressed for All Time: Producing the Great Jazz Albums author Michael Jarrett about the genesis of Herbie Mann’s 1969 recording, Memphis Underground, and the executives and musicians involved

Interview

photo by Bouna Ndaiye
Interview with Gerald Horne, author of Jazz and Justice: Racism and the Political Economy of the Music

Photography

photo of Stephane Grappelli by Veryl Oakland
Veryl Oakland’s “Jazz in Available Light” — photos (and stories) of violinists Joe Venuti, Stephane Grappelli, Jean-Luc Ponty, Zbigniew Seifert, and Leroy Jenkins

Great Encounters

photo of Sidney Bechet by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress
In this edition of "Great Encounters," Con Chapman, author of Rabbit’s Blues: The Life and Music of Johnny Hodges, writes about Hodges’ early musical training, and the first meeting he had with Sidney Bechet, the influential and legendary reed player who Hodges called “tops in my book.”

Book Excerpt

In the introduction to Jazz and Justice: Racism and the Political Economy of the Music, author Gerald Horne writes about the severe cultural and economic obstacles jazz musicians have encountered since the music's inception

“What are 4 or 5 of your all-time favorite Blue Note albums?”

"What are 4 or 5 of your all-time favorite Blue Note albums?"
Dianne Reeves, Nate Chinen, Gary Giddins, Michael Cuscuna, Eliane Elias and Ashley Kahn are among the 12 writers, musicians, and music executives who list and write about their favorite Blue Note albums

Humor

photo by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress
"Every Soul is a Circus," by Dig Wayne

In the Previous Issue

photo by Carol Friedman
“The Jazz Photography Issue” features an interview with today’s most eminent jazz portrait photographer Carol Friedman, news from Michael Cuscuna about newly released Francis Wolff photos, as well as archived interviews with William Gottlieb, Herman Leonard, Lee Tanner, a piece on Milt Hinton, a new edition of photos from Veryl Oakland, and much more…

Contributing writers

Site Archive