Duet and Dialogue
Dolphin in the Sky
1 Rue Brey
Fields of Joy
A Little Childís Poem
Children of the Kingdom
David Friesen (bass): Paul McCandless (oboe and cor anglais): John Stowell
(electric guitar): Steve Gadd (drums)
Inner Cityís reissue programme continues to go well with this disc of
material recorded just over thirty years ago by David Friesen. The bass
playerís piquant group, anchored by the still memorably active Steve Gadd,
includes the oboe and cor anglais (English Horn) player Paul McCandless and
electric guitarist John Stowell. This chamber ensemble provides music that
There are ten tracks, all of which were composed by the leader with the
exception of the last, which is a co-composition with McCandless. One of
the albumís strengths was that the individual personalities and stylistic
affiliations of the four players fused productively and creatively rather
than cancelling each other out. Friesen himself had played with musicians
as disparate as Joe Venuti and Ted Curson, himself an Inner City player.
Similarly, McCandless journeyed between Annette Peacock, Elvin Jones and
the Pittsburgh Symphony. Stowell and Friesen played together often during
1976 and were well meshed by the time they recorded.
Flexible pulse in Winterís Fall generates an affirmative and
sonorous lyricism whilst the leaderís dextrous play of pizzicato virtuosity
ensures that Duet and Dialogue lives up to its promise as a study
in exchanges. Friesen moves easily and in a non-doctrinaire way between
pizzicato and arco, something shown strongly in Star Dance, where
he can strum rather like a guitar: Stowell meanwhile evokes almost
folk-like rhythms. Whilst itís quite hard-driving, Fields of Joy
has rhythmically flexible elements to ensure its Latin samba feel is
wittily conveyed. The oboe is to the fore but itís noticeable how much
Ďspaceí there is in the ensemble work, so that these four very different
voices have their own room to expand and contract.
A Little Childís Poem
is a charming duet between bass and guitar Ė a band within a band effect Ė
with a warm arco line beautifully threaded by the guitar (donít overlook
Stowellís ability to fuse his guitar with the others). Clouds is a
layered nature depiction for the quartet whilst some overdubbing ensures
density for the final track, another duet with bass and cor anglais.
41 minutes represents standard LP timing but in the reissue context that is
41 minutes of exemplary, moving and beautifully textured music.