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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 Julian Lage (by this time, no longer an up-and-comer) in an eagerly anticipated duet with Nels Cline, the more avant-leaning ...

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 is restless, jagged and harsh at times. It represents, without a doubt, the most avant-garde experiment of Frisell's career.

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 with understated themes and contrasting interactions with the strings contingent. Pieces such as “The Animals" project solstice via a somber ...

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 music traditions over the past three decades--honing his reputation as one of the most imaginative stylists in the milieu.

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 music, sprinkled with a little Frisellian magic dust that blurs the edges. Frisell has a knack of evoking ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Bill Frisell: Big Sur

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Most, if not all, musicians value the relationships--both musical and friendship--that they build over the years, but few are as loyal as guitarist Bill Frisell. One look at his various releases over the past couple of decades and it becomes instantly clear that, once he has established a successful working and personal relationship with another musician, he rarely ever calls on anyone else. With the exception of Rudy Royston--who, since first collaborating with the guitarist in 2007, has regularly split the drum stool with Kenny Wollesen--every member of the group on Big Sur has been Frisell's sole choice on their ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Bill Frisell: Live Download Series #14-17

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DS#001-013 | DS#014-017 In a previous All About Jazz article, the first thirteen installments of guitarist Bill Frisell's remarkable Live Download Series were reviewed. Beginning in 2009, Frisell and Songline/Tonefield Productions began making available high quality, download-only (but in formats including 320K MP3 and lossless FLAC) live performances dating as far back as 1989, when the guitarist was on the road to support his Elektra/Musician debut, Before We Were Born, released the same year. What has made this series so important is that, as is the case with so many artists, far more goes on than can ever ...



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