He comes back at us with a nice two-CD set featuring his Circle 3 Trio. When the Light Falls (Origin 82677) features an extended set of Friesen originals that bring his bass into lively interplay with Greg Goebel on piano and Charlie Doggett on drums. Guitarist Larry Koonse guest appears with the group for about half the numbers, and he adds a very compatible fourth voice.
This is a part live date, part studio, but all on the mark. The compositions serve to set the table for the considerably focused improvisations. Goebel has a post-Jarrett-Corea sort of rhythmic lyricism that goes well with what Friesen sets up. Koonse plays intelligently and eloquently. Doggett has an appealingly loose but forward-moving rock-swing feel at all times. And Friesen gives us much of the bass playing that makes him special, both in ensemble passages and as a key soloist.
The album grew on me as I listened my usual many times. It is subtle, on the surface mellow but quite sophisticated and musically deep once you get into it all.
Friesen shows us why his bass playing is foundational and the band comes across as very good indeed. It is a pleasure to hear this one!