Floratone: Floratone (2008)
Centered on Frisell's guitar, Floratone dresses up what he's accomplished in the past and builds on that with lyrical themes in a starring role. Three guest artists embellish eloquently without overwhelming: bassist Viktor Krauss, cornetist Ron Miles and violinist/violist Eyvind Kang.
"Swamped" makes the biggest impression, as Frisell and Chamberlain bring back memories of early Blue Note post-bop sessions, swinging effortlessly while dishing out powerful thematic material. "Louisiana Lowboat" adds to the album's country backswing, while "The Future" rocks with dramatic anxiety. Originally recorded as a sparkling jam session between Frisell and Chamberlain, Martine and Townsend edited the work into 11 chapters; each piece has a subtle theme that proves memorable. Violin, cornet and bass appear on half the tracks, adding thematic messages to the mix; what's more, their presence helps to retain a natural texture in the program. By combining leading-edge passion with traditional country pride, Frisell has reached out to a broad-minded audience and a larger fan base. With Floratone, he's gone a few steps farther ahead.
Track Listing: Floratone; The Wanderer; Mississippi Rising; The Passenger; Swamped; Monsoon; Louisiana Lowboat; The Future; Take a Look; Frontiers; Threadbare.
Personnel: Bill Frisell: guitars; Matt Chamberlain: drums, percussion; Viktor Krauss: basses; Ron Miles: cornet (1-3, 7, 8); Eyvind Kang: violin & viola (1-3, 7, 8).
Record Label: Blue Note Records