David Friesen - Departure
By Ralph Burnett
It has been my aspiration in this column to not only introduce you to debut and up-and-coming artists, but to highlight veteran artists who I feel deserve greater exposure than has been granted them in the past. David Friesen certainly fits this ideology and with the release of his 23rd presentation as a leader, (3rd for the Global Pacific label), entitled Departure, we will assuredly get to know him better.
The most difficult thing about this column was pinning David down long enough between gigs to do this interview. He truly defines the expression "working musician." We finally settled on 8:00 in the morning the day of a local show and just before embarking on an extensive overseas tour. Shortly after I ran an I.V. from the coffee mechine, the interview commensed.
David Friesen was born on the 6th of May, 1942 in Tacoma, Washington, was raised in Seattle and currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife Kim and their four children. Despite coming from a family oozing with talent and frolicking with a variety of instruments, David didn't become a bassist until relatively late in life. "It was 1961 and I was in the Army, stationed in Munich, Germany and had been playing the guitar at that time and I just picked up the bass one day and that was it."
If you've followed David Friesen's career down through the years, his latest release Departure is...well...a departure! The music on this album is charismatic to the bone--I like to think of it as: David Friesen, the mad scientist of the bass meets Uwa Kropinski, the slap-daddy of percussion guitar.
David Friesen's creation, the Oregon Bass, is every bit as innovative as the seemingly barrierless creativity of his music on this instrument.
(Complete interview to follow - please check back again).