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Jazz - Released October 6, 2014 | Okeh

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Sélection JAZZ NEWS
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Jazz - Released August 24, 2004 | Nonesuch

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Country - Released June 19, 2001 | Terminus Records

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Jazz - Released September 13, 2005 | Nonesuch

In 1995, Bill Frisell released an instrumental album composed for Buster Keaton's films, Go West. The disc acts as the live accompaniment to the silent films, much like seeing them in their original release form. Go West is a Buster Keaton classic often compared to the Charlie Chaplin classics. The story follows a down-and-out Midwesterner following Horace Greeley's adage "Go West, young man!" Classic hilarity in this film includes a milking scene and a card game. (Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle makes an in-drag cameo.) The original soundtrack recording also includes Kermit Driscoll on acoustic and electric basses and Joey Barron on percussion. Frisell and his band performed the music to all three films at St. Ann's in Brookly, NY, in May of 1993. The warmly recorded albums are adventurous and evocative. Critics described Bill Frisell's inspired episodic work with Keaton's films as "deceptively modest" and "melancholy Americana. These rich narrative accompaniments are essential for students of cinema music and evangelists of the power of the score to enrich and enlighten visual art. The group also wrote an original score to the Keaton films High Sign and One Week. © JT Griffith /TiVo
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Jazz - Released October 16, 1991 | Nonesuch

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Jazz - Released March 16, 2015 | Songlines

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The music from Richter 858 was originally commissioned and recorded to accompany a book of paintings by Gerhard Richter, which was only available in limited quantities back in 2002. Tony Reif of Songlines decided to rescue the recordings from obscurity, and re-released them in early 2005. The band is Frisell on guitar and delay, Eyvind Kang on viola, Jenny Scheinman on violin, and Frisell's old bandmate Hank Roberts on cello. The pieces were directly inspired by a specific painting, and recorded live to two-track with no editing or overdubs. In the booklet are thoughts and guidelines given to Frisell by producer David Breskin and an interview on the subject with Frisell, and they shed a great deal of light on the process of how this music was created. Since art is, of course, a subjective thing, you may or may not feel that the music directly relates to the paintings, but there's no denying that this is a fascinating project. The majority of the songs are built on simple repeated figures, and the players all seem free to embellish and improvise on top of that. Frisell's delays play a major role in this music (Breskin points out that Richter's technique of applying a squeegee to wet oil paint is analogous to Frisell "smearing" notes by manipulating his delay), and the way he uses the delayed guitar signal to complement, and in some cases mimic, the strings is quite amazing (remember, this was done live with no editing). It's been years since Frisell has made such extensive use of the delay, but he's still an absolute master. There is also a minimalist quality to the pieces, but the interplay between guitar, delay and strings keeps them from becoming static. Most of this album is quite serene and beautiful, although there are a couple of hairier moments. The paintings themselves are also reproduced in the booklet, and also as enhanced content on the disc itself, which is encoded for Super Audio playback. This is a very interesting new sound for Bill Frisell, and apparently this band is developing more music together outside the scope of the original project. Recommended. © Sean Westergaard /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2006 | Cryptogramophone

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Jazz - Released May 18, 1990 | Nonesuch

Recorded in 1989 while Frisell was still a member of Naked City, Is That You? finds the guitarist already trending away from that band's scattershot assault and toward the more pastoral leanings he would embrace in the upcoming decade. At its best, as on the title track, Frisell creates nostalgic but heartfelt melodies that have the sense of being a soundtrack to a bittersweet movie. Wayne Horvitz' "Yuba City" is also evocative and very much in keeping with his other work from around that time, all sumptuous melodic hooks overlaying somewhat clunky rhythms. There are other nice touches here and there (the charming "Rag," for instance), but too often the gauziness that is an inherent problem with much of Frisell's music comes to the fore. While his cover of "Chain of Fools" chugs along with some dopey panache, "The Days of Wine and Roses" threatens to evaporate into the mist altogether. Fans of his later work may welcome this approach and, indeed, consider it one of his most attractive attributes, but those listeners hoping to hear more of the bite and devil-may-care attitude shown in his work with Zorn may feel suffocated. © Brian Olewnick /TiVo
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Jazz - Released February 3, 2004 | Terminus Records

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Country - Released August 12, 2003 | Terminus Records

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Jazz - Released May 18, 1990 | Nonesuch

Recorded in 1989 while Frisell was still a member of Naked City, Is That You? finds the guitarist already trending away from that band's scattershot assault and toward the more pastoral leanings he would embrace in the upcoming decade. At its best, as on the title track, Frisell creates nostalgic but heartfelt melodies that have the sense of being a soundtrack to a bittersweet movie. Wayne Horvitz' "Yuba City" is also evocative and very much in keeping with his other work from around that time, all sumptuous melodic hooks overlaying somewhat clunky rhythms. There are other nice touches here and there (the charming "Rag," for instance), but too often the gauziness that is an inherent problem with much of Frisell's music comes to the fore. While his cover of "Chain of Fools" chugs along with some dopey panache, "The Days of Wine and Roses" threatens to evaporate into the mist altogether. Fans of his later work may welcome this approach and, indeed, consider it one of his most attractive attributes, but those listeners hoping to hear more of the bite and devil-may-care attitude shown in his work with Zorn may feel suffocated. © Brian Olewnick /TiVo
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Jazz - Released October 16, 1991 | Nonesuch

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Jazz - Released April 1, 2002 | Rhombus Records

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Classical - Released September 23, 2016 | Modern Recording

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