Jim Hall / Bill Frisell: Hemispheres

Eyal Hareuveni By

Sign in to view read count
Jim Hall / Bill Frisell: Hemispheres The first and lasting impression of this full-length collaboration between master and genre-bending guitarists Jim Hall and Bill Frisell is one of relaxed intimacy and indeed, this no-frills approach is one of the strengths of this project. Great affinity between great musician focused on creating music, who have the time and space to establish such rapport, and then share their creative process is the corner stone of fan-friendly label ArtistShare. The result is a much more satisfactory and successful process than the typical one offered by more established labels, who tend to celebrate such musical summits with redundant production fireworks.

The first disc was recorded on five session between July and December 2007 in Tony Scherr's (Frisell's musical partner, bassist and guitarist) house studio in Brooklyn and featured Hall and Frisell in duet. The live analog recording, executed with a vintage 1940's microphone attached to Hall's guitar, clever use of effects by Frisell and no overdubs, contributes to the warm sound that radiates from these sessions. The recording process usually began with Hall and Frisell playing their original pieces straight from the chart then immediately playing a freer version of it, or as both Hall and Frisell called it "the inverse". On most of the tracks Frisell opts for the co-pilot seat, creating sonic canvas for Hall to lead and improvise over. Frisell's "Throughout," a composition that they have been playing together for many years, and the 15-minutes open improvisation "Migration" testify to this modest approach. However, they share equal roles on a beautiful and playful cover of Milt Jackson's "Bags Groove" and a contemplative, Americana-tinged version of Bob Dylan's 1960's anti-war anthem "Masters Of War"—a tune new to Hall before these sessions but with lyrics he enjoyed. The leisured playing by both on these sessions creates such a beautiful atmosphere which sweeps you into its stillness.

The second disc, a quartet session that feature long time collaborators of both Hall and Frisell, bassist Scott Colley and drummer Joey Baron, was recorded digitally during one September day in New York, focuses on highly melodic and elegant re-orchestrations of well-known standards with few originals. The four musicians were seated in a close circle to retain the intimated feeling of the duo sessions, and all share the same supportive interplay.

The quartet expand their palette of colors on the Latin-tinged version of "I'll Remember April" and "Beija Flor," offering slow and thoughtful covers of "Chelsea Bridge" and "In A Sentimental Mood," swinging hard on "Sonnymoon For Two" and even experimenting on Hall's sound poem "Hear And Now" and the collaborative "Card Tricks".

As part of this recording process, an open call for ArtistShare participants to submit original cover art drew substantial result. The vibrant colorful result was submitted by Susan Warin, a non-verbal artist from Sophie's Art Gallery: a center where developmentally disabled adults can express themselves through art.

One of the best realized collaborations of recent years, one that crosses genres as well as generations.

Visit Jim Hall and Bill Frisell on the web.

Track Listing: CD1: Throughout; All Across the City; Bag's Groove; Migration; Family; Waiting to Dance; Bimini; Masters of War; Beijing Blues; Monica Jane. CD2: I'll Remember April; Barbaro; Chelsea Bridge; Owed to Freddie; Beija Flor; Here and Now; My Funny Valentine; Card Tricks; In a Sentimental Mood; Sonnymoon for Two.

Personnel: Jim Hall: guitar; Bill Frisell: guitar; Joey Baron: drums (CD2); Scott Colley: bass (CD2).

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: ArtistShare | Style: Modern Jazz

Related Video


More Articles

Read Northern Adventures CD/LP/Track Review Northern Adventures
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Collider CD/LP/Track Review Collider
by John Sharpe
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Eos CD/LP/Track Review Eos
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 28, 2017
Read More Than This CD/LP/Track Review More Than This
by Henning Bolte
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "Secular Hymns" CD/LP/Track Review Secular Hymns
by John Eyles
Published: September 10, 2016
Read "Stille Post (Radio Works: 2003-2011)" CD/LP/Track Review Stille Post (Radio Works: 2003-2011)
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 17, 2016
Read "Aerials" CD/LP/Track Review Aerials
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: April 20, 2016
Read "Planet" CD/LP/Track Review Planet
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 28, 2016
Read "Star-Spangled Voltage" CD/LP/Track Review Star-Spangled Voltage
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 5, 2016
Read "Fierce Silence" CD/LP/Track Review Fierce Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: December 9, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!