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Bill Frisell: Harmony

Read "Harmony" reviewed by Franz A. Matzner

Renowned guitarist Bill Frisell's Blue Note Records debut Harmony is a pleasant album. This does not imply lack of innovation, the saccharine sound or the absence of bite and sorrow. These hues of bite and sorrow actually dominate the fourteen selections, which in patented Frisell manner run the gamut from traditional Americana to Elvis Costello to classic jazz. The album's appeal comes from its utter listenability and sumptuous delivery. It also proffers an innovative, drum-less configuration of strings, lead, and ...

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Bill Frisell: Harmony

Read "Harmony" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Iconic guitarist-composer Bill Frisell has chosen to primarily emphasize the Americana side of his music for his debut as a leader for Blue Note Records. When Frisell organized his new band with vocalist Petra Haden, cellist Hank Roberts and guitarist-bassist Luke Bergman he was struck by the fact that all of the band members but him sang, so their vocal blend became the group's signature sound as well as the inspiration for the name Harmony. Upon first hearing, the album ...

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Bill Frisell | Thomas Morgan: Epistrophy

Read "Epistrophy" reviewed by John Kelman

When ECM Records released Small Town in 2017, beyond capturing the profound intimacy and musical ability to “finish each other's sentences" shared by the first recorded document of guitarist Bill Frisell and bassist Thomas Morgan in a duo setting, one of the biggest walk-aways was the hope that this would not be a one-off. Two years later, Epistrophy captures another 68 minutes (running literally 34 seconds longer than Small Town) of intimate interaction, culled from the same March, 2016 run ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Big Ears Festival 2019

Read "Big Ears Festival 2019" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Big Ears Festival Knoxville, TN March 21-24, 2019 The major focus of this year's Big Ears Festival was a celebration of ECM Records' 50th anniversary, which included a number of live performances (representing both the main label and the classical music imprint ECM New Series) as well as a panel discussion “ECM @ 50" (covered in a separate article here). There were about 20 concerts, the largest group of ECM artists under one banner ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Bill Frisell Trio at Dublin's National Concert Hall

Read "Bill Frisell Trio at Dublin's National Concert Hall" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Bill Frisell Trio National Concert Hall jny:Dublin, Ireland February 21, 2019 It was a swift return to the National Concert Hall stage for Bill Frisell, following his guest appearance in May 2018 at the finale of fiddler Martin Hayes' residency. This time Frisell was leading his trio of Tony Scherr and Kenny Wollesen, long-time collaborators in the guitarist's on-going quest to celebrate music without borders. This concert was just that--a celebration of music pure ...

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Bill Frisell: Music IS

Read "Music IS" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Widely touted as Bill Frisell's second solo recording, and his first since the darkly introspective Ghost Town (Nonesuch, 2000), Music IS is, in fact, the guitarist's third, with the oddly overlooked Silent Comedy seemingly having slipped by most folk. That outing, on John Zorn's Tzadik label, was unique in Frisell's discography for being freely improvised, whereas Music IS revisits and reworks classic Frisell compositions, all the way back to his first ECM recordings as leader in 1983/4. This set of ...

RADIO

Bill Frisell, Camille Bertault And More New Releases

Read "Bill Frisell, Camille Bertault And More New Releases" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

In episode 18 we feature an exclusive interview with rising French superstar Camille Bertault in advance of her New York concerts to promote her album Pas de géant and the preview Bill Frisell's upcoming Music Is, an instant classic which marks his return to the solo format and some of his earlier solo work. Also in the playlist, recent releases by Jon Irabagon, Rosa Brunello, Jakob Bro and Aka Moon. Playlist Ben Allison “Mondo Jazz Theme (feat. Ted ...

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Bill Frisell: Music IS

Read "Music IS" reviewed by John Kelman

The tradition of solo jazz guitar recordings is a long one, with guitarists like Johnny Smith, Al Viola, George Van Eps, Lenny Breau and Joe Pass demonstrating just how far a mere six (in some cases, seven) strings could be taken on their own as far back as the 1950s. Subsequent guitar soloists like John Abercrombie and Ralph Towner went even further by, at times, taking advantage of the recording studio's facility to overdub layers of guitar to create even ...

DOWNLOAD REVIEWS

Bill Frisell: Hurricane Harvey Relief: A Compilation From His Live Download Series

Read "Bill Frisell: Hurricane Harvey Relief: A Compilation From His Live Download Series" reviewed by John Kelman

Bill Frisell Hurricane Harvey Relief: A Compilation From His Live Download Series BillFrisell.com 2017 Many musicians may use their celebrity to speak out about issues that matter to them, but only a relatively precious few are actually prepared to put the time, effort and money where their mouths are, creating contexts where much- needed funds can be raised to support those causes. It's even better when they do so in a way that rewards fans ...

IN PICTURES

Garana Jazz Festival 2017

Read "Garana Jazz Festival 2017" reviewed by Nedici Dragoslav

All About Jazz's Nenad Georgievski wrote this about the 2017 Garana Jazz Festival... “Running from the 6-9th of July, the 21st edition of the Garana Jazz Festival saw the jazz world descend on its location near the Garana village, high in the Semenic Mountains of Romania. Obviously, the artistic credibility and the creative energy were the hallmarks of this year's edition as the festival boasted enormous audience attendance during the four days. This year the festival presented a ...

INTERVIEWS

The indefatigable Bill Frisell

Read "The indefatigable Bill Frisell" reviewed by Mario Calvitti

Since he first appeared on the international scene in the late '70s, Bill Frisell has shown considerable originality and strong individuality. Thanks to an instrumental voice that is both immediately recognizable and immensely versatile, he continues to stand out among the artists that have contributed to rewriting the role of guitar in jazz and beyond. Adept in jazz, blues, country, new classical, and pop music, Frisell has spent his entire career exploring all aspects of American music, redefining ...

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Bill Frisell/Thomas Morgan: Small Town

Read "Small Town" reviewed by Nenad Georgievski

Duets can be very revealing and very demanding. In best of cases, duets require the utmost attention from two musicians, where playing with another person means playing solo and support simultaneously. When this works well, magic occurs. Over the decades, guitarist Bill Frisell has demonstrated an uncanny power and musicality as a considerable force in various corners and ends of the jazz spectrum. At once a painterly and keenly conversational player, he readily adapts his easily identifiable guitar sounds to ...


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