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Bill Frisell - Epistrophy

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Epistrophy

Bill Frisell, Thomas Morgan

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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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Epistrophy

Bill Frisell

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1
All In Fun Live At The Village Vanguard, New York, NY / 2016
00:08:35

Jerome Kern, ComposerLyricist - Oscar Hammerstein II , ComposerLyricist - Bill Frisell, Mixer, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Zinman, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - James A. Farber, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Thomas Morgan, Mixer, Double Bass, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Owen Mulholland, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jim Mattingly, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2019 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

2
Wildwood Flower / Save The Last Dance For Me Live At The Village Vanguard, New York, NY / 2016
00:09:35

Doc Pomus, ComposerLyricist - Mort Shuman, ComposerLyricist - Bill Frisell, Mixer, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Zinman, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - James A. Farber, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Joseph Philbrick Webster, Composer - Thomas Morgan, Mixer, Double Bass, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Maud Irving, Author - Owen Mulholland, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jim Mattingly, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2019 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

3
Mumbo Jumbo Live At The Village Vanguard, New York, NY / 2016
00:08:03

PAUL MOTIAN, Composer - Bill Frisell, Mixer, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Zinman, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - James A. Farber, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Thomas Morgan, Mixer, Double Bass, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Owen Mulholland, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jim Mattingly, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2019 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

4
You Only Live Twice Live At The Village Vanguard, New York, NY / 2016
00:08:10

Leslie Bricusse, ComposerLyricist - John Barry, ComposerLyricist - Bill Frisell, Mixer, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Zinman, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - James A. Farber, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Thomas Morgan, Mixer, Double Bass, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Owen Mulholland, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jim Mattingly, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2019 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

5
Lush Life Live At The Village Vanguard, New York, NY / 2016
00:04:37

Billy Strayhorn, ComposerLyricist - Bill Frisell, Mixer, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Zinman, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - James A. Farber, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Thomas Morgan, Mixer, Double Bass, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Owen Mulholland, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jim Mattingly, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2019 ECM Records GmbH

6
Epistrophy Live At The Village Vanguard, New York, NY / 2016
00:07:26

Thelonious Monk, ComposerLyricist - Bill Frisell, Mixer, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Zinman, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - James A. Farber, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Thomas Morgan, Mixer, Double Bass, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Owen Mulholland, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jim Mattingly, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2019 ECM Records GmbH

7
Pannonica Live At The Village Vanguard, New York, NY / 2016
00:07:07

Thelonious Monk, Composer - Bill Frisell, Mixer, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Zinman, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - James A. Farber, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Thomas Morgan, Mixer, Double Bass, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Owen Mulholland, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jim Mattingly, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2019 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

8
Red River Valley Live At The Village Vanguard, New York, NY / 2016
00:08:09

Traditional, ComposerLyricist - Bill Frisell, Mixer, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Zinman, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - James A. Farber, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Thomas Morgan, Mixer, Double Bass, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Owen Mulholland, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jim Mattingly, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2019 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

9
In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning Live At The Village Vanguard, New York, NY / 2016
00:06:55

Bob Hilliard, Author - David Mann, Composer - Bill Frisell, Mixer, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Zinman, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - James A. Farber, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Thomas Morgan, Mixer, Double Bass, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Owen Mulholland, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jim Mattingly, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2019 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

Album Description

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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