Dave Freisen's music has been optimistically described by his publicists--in what might appear at first to be typical PR hyperbole--as new age, world music and jazz. Yet, his trio's performance at the Comeback Inn on Friday night not only confirmed all the above labeling, but also suggested that the terms avant-garde , funk and swing might be equally applicable.
Part of the great charm of Freisen's set, in fact, was the bassist/composer's implicit willingness to let the music find its own direction.
A piece called "David's Dance," for example, started out with a hard-swinging, body-shaking shuffle rhythm and rapidly accelerated into the outer limits of improvisation (energized, in particular, by the high-voltage playing of tenor saxophonist Dave Hagelganz and drummer Alan Jones).
On another selection, "Song for My Family," Freisen used a digital delay device to lay down discrete, repeating rhythms and harmonies, which were then used as a foundation for free improvisation. His odd-looking, half-acoustic, half-electronic instrument--a self-designed unit called the Orogon bass--produced a focused sound that maintained its clarity through layers of reverberating musical events.