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Jazz - Verschenen op 16 maart 2018 | Okeh - Sony Masterworks

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
The guitar isn’t the most used instrument among jazzmen, and revolutionary guitarists are quite logically very seldom. Bill Frisell is lucky enough to be one of them. Year after year (with a career spanning four decades!) and album after album (over forty records under his name, and three hundred as a sideman!), the American has imposed his singular voice, one of the most influential of the last twenty years. Frisell quickly set himself apart from his elders by taking his – instantly recognisable – style onto every possible repertoire. Post bop, free, noise, rock, country, 50s music, he dove into an incredible amount of partitions while staying true to his language and his style − simply put: remaining himself. Yet Music IS isn’t just another album designed to build up his already dense discography. He who shares his music first and foremost, felt the need to express himself on a solo project, a context he’s never really been fond of, often admitting in interviews that he gave his first solo concert years after starting his professional career… But Music IS is the result of a need to play, on acoustic and electric guitar, his own music. After revisiting the music of others, Bill Frisell has decided in this 2018 opus to gather new as well as older themes, some he hadn’t played for years. Listening to these fifteen tracks in one go is like travelling in the colourful meanders of this exceptional musician’s brain. Whether he refines his phrases to the extreme like his master Jim Hall, launches in oversaturated hand-to-hand fights or performs Americana in his own impressionistic way, Bill Frisell delivers improvisations of eternal beauty. Even though this album may feel like a testament piece, Music IS is the work of an artist more alive than ever. And without a doubt one of his most beautiful albums. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Verschenen op 12 april 2019 | ECM

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
Guitar and bass duos are a rewarding subgenre of jazz—pairings like Jim Hall/Ron Carter or Ralph Towner/Gary Peacock come to mind—that’s recently been dominated by the extrasensory connection between the perennially underrated Thomas Morgan and the do-it-all guitarist Bill Frisell. Despite a title derived from the Thelonious Monk-penned standard that’s covered here, jazz is not an accurate description of Morgan and Frisell's increasingly intrepid shared vision. The closest label would be a highly idiosyncratic version of Americana. There's a sinuous take on the iconic "Red River Valley" and a straighter reading of Monk but also dashes of Billy Strayhorn ("Lush Life") and Frank Sinatra ("In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning"), resulting in a mysterious, all-encompassing flavor. As proof of their wide-ranging tastes and ability to make any music their own, a fearless, unlikely mashup of "Wildwood Flower" (made famous by the Carter Family) and the Doc Pomus classic "Save The Last Dance for Me," somehow brings out the essence of both tunes. While Frisell’s signature meandering, idea-heavy, reverbed style provides the bones throughout the nine tracks, it’s Morgan who fills out the flesh. Recorded live in the basement of New York City's iconic Village Vanguard, Epistrophy highlights the close-miked richness of both Frisell's resonant guitar tones and Morgan's soft-edged bass contours. Except for the inevitable coughs that occur during the performances and modest applause between tunes, crowd noise here is largely absent, leaving the guitar and bass to naturally entwine in a wonderfully perceptive and creative dance. © Robert Baird / Qobuz
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Jazz - Verschenen op 6 oktober 2014 | Okeh

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Sélection JAZZ NEWS
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Jazz - Verschenen op 1 maart 1992 | Nonesuch

Onderscheidingen The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Bill Frisell has long been one of the most unique guitarists around. Able to switch on a moment's notice from sounding like a Nashville studio player to heavy metal, several styles of jazz, and just pure noise, Frisell can get a remarkable variety of sounds and tones out of his instrument. This set features Frisell in a quintet with Don Byron (on clarinet and bass clarinet), Guy Klucevsek on accordion, bassist Kermit Driscoll, and drummer Joey Baron. To call the repertoire wide-ranging would be an understatement. In addition to eight melodies from Aaron Copland's Billy the Kid, Frisell and company explore (and often reinvent) pieces written by Charles Ives, Bob Dylan, Muddy Waters, Madonna, Sonny Rollins, Stephen Foster, and John Phillip Sousa. This is one of the most inventive recordings of the 1990s and should delight most listeners from any genre. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Verschenen op 14 augustus 2020 | Blue Note Records

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Before we marvel at the high-altitude interplay of the Bill Frisell Trio or the sometimes extreme sonic gyrations of its leader, let's begin at the most basic level—with stark, simple, standalone guitar declarations. Frisell opens several pieces on Valentine this way, in the clear. He'll send a carefully plucked single note out into the air, and then, after it subsides, he'll drop another. Tone is his only lure, and it's all he needs to suggest the framework of a tune like "Levees:" The initial phrase operates like an opening scene in a film, establishing a thick and specific atmosphere. Out of that blossoms a six-minute exploration in which Frisell, bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Rudy Royston travel between strict tempo and drifty listlessness, blues repetition and free-jazz high dives, jittery conversation and disquieting silences. From a single note, there are many resonances; Frisell has been doing this kind of quiet alchemy for years, of course. Valentine is among the most rousing works in his extensive discography in part because it's so relentlessly visual. On just about every piece, Frisell and his trio work transfixingly together to conjure dirt-road sojurns and nature vistas out of thin air. They create contemplative spaces the jazz academy never visits. They dance through a blithe, lighthearted reading of Burt Bacharach's "What The World Needs Now" and a disquieting sorrow-filled version of "We Shall Overcome." And on many of Frisell's skeletal originals (the stunning "Keep Your Eyes Open," for example), they transform their three-way improvised abstractions into clear, singable music that has the sturdy narrative arc of classic country music. As these journeys unfold, it becomes clear that right along with the spontaneity there's some deep intention at work. The stylistic juxtapositions and sudden changes in density are hardly random. Neither are the fragile little introductions—somehow they're all Frisell needs to telegraph where he's going. As in so many aspects of life, the tone is set from the top. © Tom Moon/Qobuz
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Jazz - Verschenen op 4 oktober 2019 | Blue Note Records

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The label Blue Note has welcomed so many pioneering, brilliant and revolutionary musicians over the years, so Bill Frisell’s arrival to the company that was founded in 1939 by Alfred Lion and Max Margulis hardly comes as a surprise. At 68 years old, the American is not only the most captivating guitarist of his generation but undoubtedly one of the most innovative and influential. In fact, over the past few years Frisell has been breaking down the stylistic boundaries that have confined him to the “jazz” section. His repertoire now combines traditional jazz and folk and he allows himself to venture into country and even rock. This first Blue Note album is a perfect reflection of Frisell’s indefinable style as he lets himself go wherever he desires. With his old friend and cellist Hank Roberts (his fellow student at Berklee College of Music in 1975), singer Petra Haden (Charlie Haden’s daughter with whom he has been collaborating since the early 2000s), and guitarist, bassist and singer Luke Bergman, Bill Frisell has revealed this Harmony as a unique combination of chamber music folk jazz and vocal harmonies. An atypical and intimate reading of classical American music symbolized by the presence of the traditional song Red River Valley and Billy Strayhorn’s standard Lush Life. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Verschenen op 26 mei 2017 | ECM

Hi-Res Booklet
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Jazz - Verschenen op 9 augustus 2005 | Nonesuch - Warner Records

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Jazz - Verschenen op 18 mei 1999 | Nonesuch

No doubt pleased with his countrified direction on Gone, Just Like a Train, Bill Frisell gives us a lot more of basically the same thing here -- only with expanded numbers in the ranks. Bassist Viktor Krauss and drummer Jim Keltner return, now accompanied by Wayne Horvitz's understated organ and piano; Greg Leisz on an assortment of fretted instruments, including the Dobro, pedal steel guitar and mandolin; and on "Shenandoah," Ry Cooder's atmospheric guitars. The first tracks of Good Dog, Happy Man pick up right where Gone, Just Like a Train left off -- low-key, perhaps too low-key -- but tracks like "Big Shoe" and "Cadillac 1959" add a bit of swagger to the lope and "Poem for Eva" sports the best tune. Again, Frisell often captures a loose, evolutionary jamming quality in these sessions, playing the country accents off of his jazz sensibilities. Unlike its predecessor, though, you can't imagine this being recorded on a backwoods front porch, for there are some production tricks and distant-sounding electronic loops that give away its Burbank studio origins. Purists on either side of the jazz/country divide are hereby warned to back off so that the rest of us can enjoy this. © Richard S. Ginell /TiVo
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Jazz - Verschenen op 14 april 1997 | Nonesuch

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Jazz - Verschenen op 16 januari 2001 | Nonesuch

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Jazz - Verschenen op 1 januari 1998 | Nonesuch

Drawing from all over the musical spectrum, Frisell selects drummer Jim Keltner (best known for his records with George Harrison, Eric Clapton and other rock stars) and bassist Viktor Krauss (a fixture in Lyle Lovett's country band), and comes up with an immensely likable, easy-grooving CD that defies one to put a label on it. If anything, Frisell leans toward a drawling country twang heavily indebted to Chet Atkins in his guitar work here, but there is a freewheeling jazz sensibility at work on every track. Keltner contributes the heavy rock element with his emphatic strokes, occasionally pushing Frisell in that direction on the title track and the lengthy "Lookout for Hope." Yet Keltner is also capable of surprising subtlety, and Krauss provides firm, unflashy underpinning. Above all, this is thoughtful, free-thinking, ear-friendly jamming that was recorded in bustling Burbank, CA. but sounds as if it was laid down in a relaxed cabin in the hills. © Richard S. Ginell /TiVo
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Jazz - Verschenen op 29 januari 2016 | Okeh

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The role of music in classic film and television has always been considerable. With When You Wish Upon a Star, the ever-versatile guitarist Bill Frisell draws upon the sentimentality of music heard on screen and how it shapes and informs our emotional relationships to what we see. Frisell, whose own music has been featured in major motion pictures like Finding Forrester and The Million Dollar Hotel reflects: “Music is so rich with all the associations that go along with it, whether it’s the words or a memory you get when you hear it.” Violist Eyvind Kang, bassist Thomas Morgan, drummer Rudy Royston, and singer Petra Haden - who recently released her musical ode to classic film, Petra Goes To The Movies - will join Frisell in re-imagining time-honored gems like “When You Wish Upon a Star” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” as well as music from television favorites including The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Honeymooners. © jazz.org
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Jazz - Verschenen op 17 juli 2009 | Nonesuch

Booklet
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Jazz - Verschenen op 6 oktober 2014 | Okeh

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Jazz - Verschenen op 18 februari 2003 | Nonesuch - Warner Records

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Jazz - Verschenen op 10 november 2011 | Savoy

All We Are Saying is Bill Frisell's third album for Savoy in 13 months. Since August of 2010, the guitarist has released Beautiful Dreamers, Sign of Life, and now this one. In addition, he collaborated on the duet recording Lagrimas Mexicanas with Brazilian guitarist Vinicius Cantuaria on Naive Jazz, released earlier this year. All We Are Saying is a full-length offering of Frisell's interpretations of John Lennon's music. Frisell's quintet includes violinist Jenny Scheinman, pedal steel and acoustic guitarist Greg Leisz, bassist Tony Scherr, and drummer Kenny Wollesen. Almost none of these 16 tunes are radical reinterpretations of Lennon's songs; most stick close to the original melodies even at their most adventurous. While there are obvious attempts at rock due to the root material -- "Revolution" and "Come Together" most notably -- this isn't a rock album per se, nor is it a noodling jazz record; it's much more slippery than either. Opener "Across the Universe," with its twinning of Frisell's electric guitar and Leisz's pedal steel as Scheinman's violin picks up the lyric melody and extrapolates its harmonic aspects, is indicative of the recording's M.O., offering a close examination of Lennon the composer. The interplay between the three principals is remarkable, such as on the intro to "Nowhere Man," where Scheinman's ostinato tenses up in advance of the changes, and Leisz grounds her fluidly while Frisell pulls his lower strings to wind up, allowing the track to begin then flow into more open areas without losing sight of the melody. Sometimes it doesn't work. "Hold On" is such a ghostly sketch it's hardly there at all. "Mother," with its dissonant opening guitar, is the bluesiest thing here; its much slower tempo only adds to this impression. "Beautiful Boy" dispenses with anything extraneous save for inserting a country stroll at its center; its pace is a bit quicker to boot. The album closes with "Give Peace a Chance." Frisell employs an array of effects in swirling, shimmering contrast with Leisz's swelling steel and Scheinman's droning violin. Scherr's languid bassline, and Wollesen's lack of an authoritative backbeat and slow tempo attempt psychedelia, but feel more like an opium dream. It's the only exception to the close-to-the-core feel of the the album, and it becomes something wholly other. All We Are Saying is a revealing listen to the side of Lennon that isn't examined closely -- or often -- enough. That said, as a whole, it feels a bit too laid-back, especially given its nearly 70-minute length. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Jazz - Verschenen op 25 februari 2000 | Nonesuch

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Jazz - Verschenen op 1 maart 1992 | Nonesuch

Bill Frisell has long been one of the most unique guitarists around. Able to switch on a moment's notice from sounding like a Nashville studio player to heavy metal, several styles of jazz, and just pure noise, Frisell can get a remarkable variety of sounds and tones out of his instrument. This set features Frisell in a quintet with Don Byron (on clarinet and bass clarinet), Guy Klucevsek on accordion, bassist Kermit Driscoll, and drummer Joey Baron. To call the repertoire wide-ranging would be an understatement. In addition to eight melodies from Aaron Copland's Billy the Kid, Frisell and company explore (and often reinvent) pieces written by Charles Ives, Bob Dylan, Muddy Waters, Madonna, Sonny Rollins, Stephen Foster, and John Phillip Sousa. This is one of the most inventive recordings of the 1990s and should delight most listeners from any genre. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Verschenen op 28 oktober 2008 | Nonesuch

Booklet
That Bill Frisell should get the "best-of" treatment from his longtime label Nonesuch seems overdue, even strangely so. Frisell began recording for Elektra Musician in 1986 after leaving ECM Records, where he'd recorded a steady string of generally excellent but somewhat low profile albums. Elektra owned Nonesuch Records as well. When Musician ceased to function as a label, Frisell's contract was morphed into the Elektra Nonesuch imprint, and eventually once more into Nonesuch, then Elektra Asylum, then back to Nonesuch. In other words, Frisell has been working with the WEA family for over two decades. In that time he has released no less than 20 albums for the various labels under WEA's corporate umbrella. Which brings us to this 15-cut issue, a first volume in series of retrospective recordings subtitled "Folk Songs." Equally at home in the avant-garde or playing bop, Frisell's chops as a jazz guitarist are well documented, and since he began his work with Nonesuch in particular, his penchant for playing classic American songs from the country, folk, and blues idioms has been heard voluminously as well. This selection has been assembled from albums released between 1989's Is That You? and 1992's Have a Little Faith (an album comprised exclusively of covers) through to 2002's The Willies, with some recordings completely left undocumented here. (We can presume they will be represented in other volumes.) What is here is a set of originals and covers that actively reflect Frisell's deep fascination with American folksong regardless of initial genre -- in his universe it all comes out sounding like him anyway. Hank Williams' "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" is juxtaposed with the scampy original "Raccoon Cat," which precedes the traditional "Sugar Baby." The relaxed newgrass country of "We're Not from Around Here," with Jerry Douglas on dobro and Victor Krauss on bass, precedes the original "The Pioneers" recorded with banjoist Danny Barnes, formerly of punk bluegrass outfit the Bad Livers and bassist Keith Lowe. The Frisell composition "Ballroom" is sandwiched between a gorgeous reading of the traditional "Shenandoah" and a reverential yet mournful version of John Hiatt's "Have a Little Faith in Me." The music, whether blues or country or identifiable as "folk," is all of a piece, both Frisell and producer Lee Townsend seem to be saying, this is part of what the guitarist does and it's a big and valuable part that draws both inspiration from the soil as well as from the root sources these tunes are either composed from or come from on their own. This is basically the softer and more controversial side of Frisell -- though there are some surprises -- and the one that has registered most popular with listeners who buy CDs. There are three tracks here from the very laid-back and melodic Good Dog, Happy Man, and a pair from Nashville, two of his most successful recordings. But this is a beautiful taste as well as a new way to listen to the way Frisell's own music meets that of the masters, and he acquits himself well. This is a terrific sampler even if it only presents a sliver of the artist's range. © Thom Jurek /TiVo