Boasting a forty-year career in music, bassist & composer David Friesen found a home at Origin Records in 2014, with his Where The Light Falls, featuring his Circle 3 Trio and guest guitarist Larry Koonse. He has, in the ensuing years, created his finest art for the label, mostly in small groups—duos and trios, and also a solo outing—in addition to his masterpiece, Testimony (2020), featuring his quartet along with the National Academic Symphonic Band of Ukraine.
His late career productivity—and quality of artistry—for Origin Records parallels reedman & composer Henry Threadgill's ongoing stint with Pi Recordings which began in 2001. Like Threadgill, Friesen is a brilliant and somewhat overlooked and uncompromising artist who has followed his muse. His approach is unpretentious and genuine concerning the crafting of his sound.
Post-Testimony Friesen released—again, on Origin Records—Passage (2021), a duo outing with pianist Bob Ravenscroft. With Day of Rest, his second 2021 release for the record label, Friesen presents a solo piano set which is introspective, tranquil, sparely articulated and starkly beautiful.
Though best known as a bassist & composer, Friesen plays piano more than competently—he sat at the keyboard, skillfully, in parts of his previously- mentioned Testimony. Bassist Charles Mingus' Mingus Plays Piano (Impulse!,1964) is an apt comparison for Day Of Rest. In terms of technical virtuosity, no-one was running around comparing Mingus to Bill Evans back in the day; and no one will compare Friesen to Keith Jarrett or Brad Mehldau, but both Mingus and Friesen had/have deep personal powers of expression, spirituality and soul— music in the marrow of their bones—and the ability to express the emotions of artistic world views on an instrument not considered their number one means of creating sound.
Directness and (relative) simplicity, compassion and an uncluttered pursuit of excellence are the trademarks of the twenty brief tunes presented here. It is an alluring sound, an auditory experience with a spiritual feeling as it presents Friesen's world view, providing peaceful reassurance and understated beauty.