Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Arms Around You
Genres: Jazz, New Age, Pop
A collection of innovative and dynamic ensemble pieces which break new ground for the cello. Include's many of Eugene Friesen's friends from the Paul Winter Consort including Paul Winter, Paul Halley, Glen Velez and other... more »
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A collection of innovative and dynamic ensemble pieces which break new ground for the cello. Include's many of Eugene Friesen's friends from the Paul Winter Consort including Paul Winter, Paul Halley, Glen Velez and others. Also making a special appearance on this release are Paul Wertico and David Blamires from the Pat Metheny Group. ARMS AROUND YOU is vibrant, uplifting music which makes the cello become a voice within a voice. This is not cello for cello sake but tunes that are "alive" with the magic of the intense, emotional and physical involvement of the artist.
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Quintessential Friesen. CelloMan at his best.
Bob Zeidler | Charlton, MA United States | 03/23/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Eugene Friesen is one of a very few cellists who can improvise "with the best of them" regardless of instrument. (Two others who come quickly to mind are David Darling and Eric Friedlander, each with a unique style but neither nearly as viscerally exciting as Eugene.) I have had the pleasure on many occasions to see this long-time member of the Paul Winter Consort in live performance, and can share with you that Eugene can really smoke!
"Arms Around You" showcases Eugene's talents as both instrumentalist and composer/arranger. The tracks in this album cover the full gamut of his abilities, from soaring, soulful duettist (with Paul Halley on keyboards) in "Night Glider," to manic bow-shredder with a full complement of horns and percussion in "River Music," to scat singer on some tracks (adding a new dimension to the old saw that "the musical instrument which most sounds like the human voice is the cello").
The back-up group for these arrangements would be hard to top. David Blamires and Paul Wertico of the Pat Metheny Group session on vocals and percussion respectively. The group is deep in outstanding percussion, including, in addition to Wertico, Glen Velez (without question the best frame drummer on the planet) and Ted Moore. Paul Sullivan gets his keyboard licks in on a track, Gordon Johnson is excellent on bass, and John Clark rips on French horn along with Eugene on "River Music," matching him lick-for-lick. Even Paul Winter - ever the one to step aside when showcasing one of his artists - adds some licks to this final track.
It is virtually impossible to pick a favorite on this album. So I'll pick two: "Night Glider," which is matched but not exceeded by "Cathedral Pines" (another Friesen/Halley duet, on the "New Friend" album also produced by Paul Winter's Living Music label), for its soaring lyricism. And "River Music," where Eugene lays down so many tracks and plays so high up on the fingerboard that one positively comes away with the sense that there is a full string group in the studio.
You'll undoubtedly come away with your own favorites, because each piece is special in its own way, and none is less than outstanding.
A few words need to be said, as well, for the man who provides the generous and nurturing cocoon of quality time and space for each artist that receives this showcase treatment. Eugene says it better than anyone: "Arms Around Paul Winter, a most attentive gardener of music, for the gift of roots and wings..."