David Friesen - Two for the Show

David Friesen - Two for the Show
Recording Location:
Bay Records, Berkley, CA; Synergy Sound, Port Townsend, W Para; The Jazz Bakery, Los Angeles, CA; White Horse Studios, Portland, Jamaica
Two for the Show
Recording Date:
August 22, 1992 - July 26, 1993
Release Date:
May 4, 1994

David Friesen's Two for the Show is a series of brilliant duets featuring the bassist with six different musicians. Not only does he set an incredibly fast tempo for tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker as he introduces Sonny Rollins' "Airegin," but his complex line inspires Brecker to some of his best playing of his career. The perennial favorite "Old Folks" finds Friesen taking a back seat to the brittle, very personalized guitar of John Scofield. Uwe Kropinski sticks to acoustic guitar for his two tracks, including Friesen's adventurous "On the Road With Jazz" and Kropinski's gypsy-flavored "Pianola." "Alone Together" opens with alto saxophonist Bud Shank unaccompanied before Friesen's imaginative bassline weaves in underneath him in a spellbinding improvisation. Friesen's duets with frequent partner Denny Zeitlin are always magical; their two tracks, taken from a 1992 gig at the Jazz Bakery, include the bassist's lyrical ballad "In Times Past," while the pianist's bittersweet ballad "Maybe in Spring" also packs an emotional punch. Their chemistry together, as always, is perfect. But it is hard for anyone to upstage Clark Terry, whose instantly recognizable sound commands attention. Both Terry (on flugelhorn) and Friesen pull all stops on a brisk take of "I Want to Be Happy"; Terry switches to muted trumpet for the understated swinger "Breeze." It is hard to imagine David Friesen and his guests wanting to stop recording after two tracks during each session, because it's obvious that they were having a great time and it would have been easy to imagine an entire CD by the bassist with any one of the artists. Here's hoping that there are still tracks left in the vault for a follow-up release.

Airegin / Sonny RollinsDavid Friesen feat: Michael Brecker4:56
True Blue / David FriesenDavid Friesen feat: John Scofield7:48
I Want to Be Happy / Irving Caesar / Vincent YoumansDavid Friesen feat: Clark Terry2:55
In Times Past / David FriesenDavid Friesen feat: Denny Zeitlin7:12
Alone Together / Howard Dietz / Arthur SchwartzDavid Friesen feat: Bud Shank4:46
On the Road With Jazz / David FriesenDavid Friesen feat: Uwe Kropinski4:53
Signs and Wonders / David FriesenDavid Friesen feat: Michael Brecker6:04
Old Folks / Dedette Lee Hill / Willard RobisonDavid Friesen feat: John Scofield6:15
BreezeDavid Friesen feat: Clark Terry5:18
Maybe in Spring / Denny ZeitlinDavid Friesen feat: Denny Zeitlin7:46
Double Take / David FriesenDavid Friesen feat: Bud Shank3:14
Pianola / Uwe KropinskiDavid Friesen feat: Uwe Kropinski4:10

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