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Jazz Articles


Bill Frisell's "Guitar in the Space Age" at the Blue Note

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Bill FrisellBlue Note New York, NY October 4, 2016 It's one month before what is shaping up to be an epochal presidential election; the national mood is tense, nerves are fraying, anxiety is high. And just in the nick of time, here comes guitarist Bill Frisell to save our sanity! He's presenting the Blue Note (NYC) audiences with a week of coolly poignant interpretations of some of his favorite vintage pop tunes, most of which ...


Bill Frisell: When You Wish Upon a Star

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There's something undeniably powerful about the music of one's youth, whether it be the theme tune to a much loved children's TV show, the pop music of our teens or the soundtracks to the classic films that signpost the passing of the years. When You Wish Upon a Star pays tribute to well-known film and television theme tunes from the 1950s to the 1970s and represents the latest foray from Frisell, following his John Lennon tribute All We Are Saying... ...


Bill Frisell: When You Wish Upon a Star

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Bill Frisell's America is a true land of musical opportunity. It's a place where portraits of bucolic beauty can mingle freely with reflections on gritty urban jungles, giving voice to anything and everything from the lighter side of life to the dark underbelly of existence. This inimitable guitarist's body of written work, along with his priceless interpretations of the music of Aaron Copland, Hank Williams, Sam Cooke, Bob Dylan, Madonna, Thelonious Monk, George Gershwin, Willie Nelson, and ...


Bill Frisell: When You Wish Upon a Star

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While jazz and interpretation are hardly strange bedfellows, few musicians have managed to be both as deeply reverent to his source music and profoundly personal and in his approach as guitarist Bill Frisell. That's not to suggest his re-imaginings of other composers' works have been anything remotely approaching predictable; as early as his first “covers" record, Have a Little Faith (Elektra/Nonesuch, 1993), Frisell managed to create a congruent program out of disparate sources ranging from Aaron Copland, John Phillip Sousa ...


Bill Frisell Trio at Peace Center

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Bill Frisell Trio Peace Center Greenville, SC November 22, 2015 The promotional description for this Bill Frisell Trio show promised “music from Frisell's entire, and quite versatile, repertoire." A bold claim, given the guitarist's huge, varied discography, which ranges from experimental jazz with John Zorn to reinterpretations of pop songs. But although the program wasn't quite that far-ranging, it definitely had that spirit, showcasing several sides of Frisell's playing, as well as a wide ...


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

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Jakob Bro, Lee Konitz, Bill Frisell, Thomas Morgan Mengi Reykjavík, 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 ...


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 ...


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 ...

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