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Bill Frisell: Why So Stressed Out?

By Published: September 26, 2006

AAJ: Who would you rather listen to: Keith Richards or Keith Jarrett?

BF: Um...I don't know. They're both cool to me. I kind of need both those guys. I'd like to hear them playing together.

AAJ: Okay, last one: Kenny G or Kitaro?

BF: [laughs] Oh... How would they sound together? That's a hard choice. They'd have to be playing together. Everybody, let's get it all together.

Bill FrisellAAJ: I just have one last question, and it's about the critics like me who call and interview you. Is that something that annoys you, having people constantly asking you questions?

BF: It's weird. Sometimes I feel like I've woken up in the middle of this dream and I can't figure out did I get to this. I mean, I don't know anything. How come people are asking me? With music, it's such a long, ongoing...deep down inside I feel the same way now as I did when I first started playing. I don't feel like I'm any kind of expert. Sometimes it's confusing how all this attention gets paid to me. It's an honor to have people think there's something going on worth talking about. You could play the same piece of music for everybody on the planet and they'd all hear something different in it. I'm not really into the idea of one thing is better...there's all this different stuff, you know. I'm flattered that I get all this attention, but I don't quite understand how it all happened. It's also hard to talk about, you know, music is like—I can't really explain anything that I'm doing. The music is so much stronger. Somebody said that music picks up where words leave off, and that totally makes sense to me.

Selected Discography

Bill Frisell, Bill Frisell, Ron Carter, Paul Motian (Nonesuch, 2006)
Jack DeJohnette/Bill Frisell, The Elephant Sleeps But Still Remembers (Golden Beams, 2006)
Bill Frisell, East/West (Nonesuch, 2005)
Bill Frisell, Richter 858 (Songlines, 2005)
Cuong Vu, It's Mostly Residual (ArtistShare, 2005)
Paul Motion/Joe Lovano/Bill Frisell, I Have the Room Above Her (ECM, 2005)
Jenny Scheinman, Twelve Songs (Cryptogramophone, 2005)
Bill Frisell, Unspeakable (Nonesuch, 2004)
Petra Haden/Bill Frisell, Petra Haden and Bill Frisell (Songlines, 2003)
Kelly Joe Phelps, Slingshot Professionals (Rykodisc, 2003)
Ron Miles/Bill Frisell, Heaven Sterling Circle, 2002)
Robin Holcomb, Big Time (Nonesuch, 2002)
Bill Frisell, Blues Dream (Nonesuch, 2001)
Laurie Anderson, Life on a String (Atlantic, 2001)
Bill Frisell, Ghost Town (Nonesuch, 2000)
Bill Frisell, Good Dog, Happy Man (Nonesuch, 1999)
Bill Frisell, The Sweetest Punch: The Songs of Costello and Bacharach (Polygram, 1999)
David Sylvian, Dead Bees on a Cake (Virgin, 1999)
Fred Hersch/Bill Frisell, Songs We Know (Nonesuch, 1998)
Bill Frisell, Nashville (Nonesuch, 1997)
Joey Baron, Down Home (Intuition, 1997)
Bill Frisell, Quartet (Nonesuch, 1996)
Kenny Wheeler, Angel Song (ECM, 1996)
Elvis Costello/Bill Frisell, Deep Dead Blue (Warner Bros., 1995)
Jim Hall, Dialogues (Telarc, 1995)
Bill Frisell, This Land (Elektra/Nonesuch, 1994)
Naked City, Heretic, Jeux des Dames Cruelles (Avant, 1994)
Ginger Baker, Going Back Home Atlantic, 1994)
Bill Frisell, Have a Little Faith (Elektra/Nonesuch, 1993)
Jerry Granelli, A Song I Thought I Heard Buddy Sing (Evidence, 1992)
Don Byron, Tuskegee Experiments (Elektra/Nonesuch, 1992)
Bill Frisell, Where in the World? (Elektra/Nonesuch, 1991)
Naked City, Grand Guignol (Avant, 1991)
Gavin Bryars, After the Requiem (ECM, 1991)
Paul Motian, Bill Evans (JMT, 1990)
Bill Frisell, Lookout for Hope (ECM, 1988)
Paul Motian, Monk in Motian JMT, 1988)
Power Tools, Strange Meeting Antilles, 1987)
Paul Bley, Fragments (ECM, 1986)
Bill Frisell, Rambler (ECM, 1985)
Lyle Mays, Lyle Mays (Warner Bros., 1985)
John Zorn, Cobra (Hat Hut, 1985)
Marc Johnson, Bass Desires (ECM, 1985)
Bill Frisell, In Line (ECM, 1983)

Jan Garbarek Group, Wayfarer (ECM, 1983)
Bob Moses, When Elephants Dream of Music (Gramavision, 1982)
Eberhard Weber, Later That Evening (ECM, 1982)
Paul Motian, Psalm (ECM, 1982)
Jan Garbarek Group, Paths, Prints (ECM, 1982)
Arild Anderson, Molde Concert (ECM, 1982)
Eberhard Weber, Fluid Rustle (ECM, 1979)

Photo Credit
Top Photo: Courtesy of AAJ Visual Arts Gallery
Center Photo: Juan-Carlos Hernández
Bottom Photo: Joe Smith

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