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Bill Frisell: Pursuing Beauty

Nenad Georgievski By

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Among the people that Frisell has worked with extensively over the years is his producer Lee Townsend who, besides producing Frisell's records, is also his manager. Townsend, who has signed records as a producer for people such as John Scofield, John Abercrombie, Charlie Hunter, and Pat Metheny , is the producer of gems such as Gone, Just Like a Train, Good Dog Happy Man, and Ghost Town. "Lee has been one of my closest friends and musical allies for more than twenty years. He helps me see things through, helps bring to life things that I dream about."

In recent years, Frisell has endeavored on trio projects with a specific taste for unusual combinations of jazz musicians—Ron Carter, Charlie Haden, Dave Holland, Ginger Baker, Elvin Jones, Jim Keltner, and Paul Motian. Add to this his regular trios with Kenny Wollesen and Victor Krauss, and Joey Baron and Kermit Driscoll, this format has elicited some of his most creative and spontaneous playing over the years. "Playing in a guitar-bass-drums trio (with the right people) is one of the most flexible, open, fun situations for me to play in. All you need is there, and you can turn on a dime".

What is noticeable about Frisell is his busy schedule. Just check his itinerary on his official web site. He is on tour for most of the year, and the news section announces countless guest appearances. Hard work has established him as one of the most sought-after collaborators; and on the other hand, rarely has any other musician delved into so many different musical styles. What drives him to work so hard? "There's nothing I'd rather do than play music. It doesn't feel like hard work. It's fun. Getting on airplanes is hard work."


Bill Frisell, Floratone (Bluenote, 2007)
Bill Frisell, Frisell/Carter/Motian e.p. (Nonesuch, 2006)
Bill Frisell, Bill Frisell, Ron Carter, Paul Motian (Nonesuch, 2006)
Bill Frisell, Further East/Further West (Nonesuch, 2005)
Bill Frisell, East/West (Nonesuch, 2005)
Bill Frisell, Richter 858 (Nonesuch, 2005)
Bill Frisell, Unspeakable (Nonesuch, 2004)
Bill Frisell, The Intercontinentals (Nonesuch, 2003)
Bill Frisell, The Willies (Nonesuch, 2002)
Bill Frisell, Rarum: Selected Recordings of Bill Frisell (Nonesuch, 2002)
Bill Frisell, With Dave Holland and Elvin Jones (Nonesuch, 2001)
Bill Frisell, Blues Dream (Nonesuch, 2001)
Bill Frisell, Ghost Town (Nonesuch, 2000)
Bill Frisell, Good Dog, Happy Man (Nonesuch, 1998)
Bill Frisell, Gone, Just Like a Train (Nonesuch, 1998)
Bill Frisell, Nashville (Nonesuch, 1997)
Bill Frisell, Quartet (Nonesuch, 1996)
Bill Frisell, Go West: Music for the Films of Buster Keaton (Nonesuch, 1995)
Bill Frisell, This Land (Nonesuch, 1994)
Bill Frisell, Live (Nonesuch,1993)
Bill Frisell, Have a Little Faith (Nonesuch, 1992)
Bill Frisell, Where in the World? (Nonesuch, 1991)
Bill Frisell, Is That You? (Nonesuch, 1990)
Bill Frisell, Before We Were Born (Nonesuch., 1989)
Bill Frisell, Lookout for Hope (ECM, 1987)
Bill Frisell, Smash & Scatteration (with Vernon Reid) (Minor Music, 1984)
Bill Frisell, Rambler (ECM, 1984)
Bill Frisell, Theoretically (with Tim Berne) (Minor Music, 1984)
Bill Frisell, In Line (ECM, 1983)

Photo Credit

Michael Wilson


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