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LIVE REVIEWS

Jakob Bro, Lee Konitz, Bill Frisell and Thomas Morgan at Mengi

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Jakob Bro, Lee Konitz, Bill Frisell, Thomas Morgan Mengi ReykjavĂ­k, Iceland May 8, 2015 (2nd show) “I've been waiting for this moment for a long time," said guitarist Jakob Bro to the small, tightly packed audience at Mengi, a vibrant new arts space in downtown Reykjavik. This tour--which besides Iceland also made stops in Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Norway and Greenland--had been some time in coming, for all concerned. It's been ...

REDISCOVERY

Bill Frisell: This Land

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Bill Frisell This Land Elektra Nonesuch 1994 Today's Rediscovery? This Land, guitarist Bill Frisell's landmark 1994 album with Don Byron, Curtis Fowlkes, Billy Drewes, Kermit Driscoll & Joey Baron. Coming on the heels of 1993's eclectic covers record Have a Little Faith (Elektra Nonesuch), This Land is as much about Frisell the writer of distinctly American music--informed in equal parts by Charles Ives, Aaron Copland, Julius Hemphill and Robert Johnson, all filtered through the ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Bill Frisell: Guitar in the Space Age!

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Though prototype electric guitar first appeared in the early 1930s, the instrument only became a staple of popular music in the 1950s and 1960s. As a musical revolution was evolving, so was a different type altogether -space exploration. Sixty years on, in an age when the challenge is just to keep abreast of technological innovations it takes an effort to imagine the seismic shift that the electric guitar and space travel--and television that brought such adventures into millions of homes--signified ...

LIVE REVIEWS

TD Ottawa Jazz Festival 2014, Days 4-6

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Days 1-2 | Days 4-6 | Days 7- 9 Tedeschi Trucks Band Bill Frisell Guitar in the Space Age! Julian Lage & Nels Cline / Bill Frisell Go West TD Ottawa Jazz Festival Ottawa, Canada June 20-July 1, 2014 While not necessarily an intentional decision, the next three days of the TD Ottawa Jazz Festival were a guitar lover's dream: two performances by festival stalwart Bill Frisell; the return of ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Bill Frisell: Silent Comedy

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Only once before in a discography that runs to 35-odd albums has leader Bill Frisell released a solo guitar album--the brooding Ghost Town (Nonesuch Records, 2000). Thirteen years on, Frisell returns to the solo format, though the difference between the two offerings is like night and day. Whereas Ghost Town was a series of mostly acoustic compositions embellished with overdubs, Silent Comedy's real-time, loop-heavy electric improvisations employ no post-production. And, where Ghost Town was introspective and darkly poetic, Silent Comedy ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bill Frisell: Big Sur

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Heralded guitar maestro Bill Frisell combines his 858 Quartet and Beautiful Dreamers units to impart another watermark on his Americana legacy, featuring an organic acoustic-electronic sketch of this picturesque area of California coastline. The album comprises nineteen-tracks, spanning Civil War-era country-chamber, undulating ostinatos, layered strings, parts, and even snippets of surf music on “The Big One." Frisell's aural snapshots of Big Sur tender an alluring vista melded with melodic content and occasional detours amid a polychromatic framework, mottled ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bill Frisell: Big Sur

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Along with household names like Pat Metheny and John Scofield, Bill Frisell is one of the most distinctive American guitarists of his generation. Despite his penchant for abstraction, Frisell's phrasing, touch and tone are as singularly unique and readily identifiable as those of his more conventional peers. Though his vast discography includes bold experimental solo albums and erstwhile membership in John Zorn's infamous Naked City, Frisell's abiding fascination with Americana has found him fine-tuning his encyclopedic interpretations of American folk ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bill Frisell: Big Sur

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Big Sur, the mountainous coastal region of California lends itself to various geographical definitions--it isn't easy to pin down definitively. So, it was an inspired idea by the Monterey Jazz Festival to put guitarist Bill Frisell in a cabin in the area and commission music, because with Frisell, musical borders are delightfully amorphous. The suite that Frisell premiered at the 2012 MJF provided the blueprint for this album, which inhabits a strangely alluring space somewhere between modern chamber and country ...



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