Bill Frisell's Musical Colleagues
Guitarist Bill Frisell explores the musical possibilities of his own multi-faceted compositions and time-honored jazz and folk songs with this ever-evolving constellation of extraordinary musicians. Their diverse backgrounds and talents provide a wide-open climate to interpret the full spectrum of Frisell's repertoire where an integration of many musical directions becomes possible.

Bill Frisell's Beautiful Dreamers featuring Eyvind Kang & Rudy Royston I've been playing with Eyvind Kang and Rudy Royston since the early nineties. More recently we've begun playing as a trio and I'm so excited by the possibilities. Each time we get together the music feels new....and old. Backwards and forwards. Up and down. Anything is possible. I can't wait to hear what happens next. I feel very fortunate having the chance to play music with these guys and to have an audience willing to follow along on this latest adventure.

Bill Frisell on the 858 Quartet: "Originally the music for this group was written for and inspired by eight Gerhard Richter paintings (858, 1-8) for a project was put together and produced by my friend, David Breskin. The Richter paintings are where this began, but the chemistry felt so good with these folks, I have written more music and will continue to do so as it develops on into the future. The group consists of Jenny Scheinman (violin), Eyvind Kang (viola), and Hank Roberts (cello). For me, this has been a chance to write for my dream string section and also a reunion with one of my best friends, Hank Roberts. Hank was in my first band and we hadn't played together or even seen each other for many years."

Bill Frisell on his trio with Tony Scherr & Kenny Wollesen: "My trio with Tony Scherr and Kenny Wollesen is probably the most flexible, spontaneous group I play with. The program can change from night to night depending on what kind of mood we're all in, the size or sound of the room, the audience, what we have or had not had to eat that day, how much sleep we've had recently, how far we've traveled, etc. etc. We never plan a set before hand. With Tony and Kenny I have the luxury of playing just about anything that comes into my head at any moment. This could be music from any of my albums, standard songs, folk songs, or whatever. These guys really inspire and challenge me everytime we get together."

Joey Baron's early musical education included private drum lessons as well as the wide variety of radio programing of the 1960s. After finishing high school early through a special accelerated program, Mr. Baron attended the Berklee School of Music in Boston. He settled in Los Angeles, California in 1975 to realize a dream of playing with the great jazz musician Carmen McRae, consequently becoming a frequent collaborator of singers. Since moving to New York City in 1983, Mr. Baron has continued to expand his scope and develop his musical ideas through collaborations with various artists including Red Rodney, Bill Frisell, Tim Berne, Ron Carter, and John Zorn. Current projects include solo concert tours, duo concerts with Lee Konitz, Bill Frisell, his own band, "Killer Joey", The John Abercrombie Quartet, and the Schulkowsky, Studer, Baron drum trio.


Sidiki Camara is regarded as one of the leading contemporary percussionists from Mali. He is also considered one of the founders of the modern current of Manding music. From early on in his musical career, he was sought after by the likes of Toumani Diabate, Oumou Sangaré, and Habib Koïté. He has traveled the world as featured percussionist with the “National Ballet of Mali”. After leaving Mali he settled in Brussels where he has continued his brilliant career with stars of Malian music such as Mamdy Kéïta, Gomma Percussion, Rokia Traoré and Boubacar Traoré. He has been a guest on European tours by Bill Frisell’s New Quartet and is a member of Frisell’s The Intercontinentals that also features Vinicius Cantuaria, Christos Govetas, Greg Leisz and Jenny Scheinman. Sidiki also teaches percussion and is the founder of the cultural exchange program “Wakinama”.

Drummer Matt Chamberlain is much in demand as a session and touring musician. He has worked extensively with Tori Amos, as well as David Bowie, Brad Mehldau, Garbage, Fiona Apple and David Torn, among others. He has played on and off with Bill for the past couple of years. He lives in Seattle.


Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Chris Cheek grew up playing in a variety of local Jazz and Blues bands. After attending Webster University, he went to the Berklee College of Music in Boston where he studied with Joe Viola and Hal Crook. Chris moved to New York in 1992 and since then has played throughout the world and recorded with a number of different groups including: Paul Motian¹s "Electric Bebop Band", "The Bloomdaddies", Charlie Haden's "Liberation Music Orchestra", Wolfgang Muthspiel, Luciana Souza and Guillermo Klein¹s "Los Guachos". He has also performed with Steve Swallow, Tom Harrell, Kurt Rosenwinkle, Brian Blade, and Carla Bley. In addition to appearing on over 60 albums as a sideman, Chris has recorded 4 albums as a leader on Fresh Sound Records, "I Wish I Knew", "A Girl Named Joe", "Vine", and most recently "Blues Cruise", featuring Brad Mehldau.


Violist Eyvind Kang has worked extensively with Bill Frisell and Laurie Anderson, as well as written arrangements for Sunn O))), Blonde Redhead, and many others. He has also released many acclaimed albums of original music, including the choral piece Athlantis (2007), The Yelm Sessions (2007), and Virginal Co-ordinates (2004). His teachers have included legendary jazz violinist Michael White, Dr. N. Rajam, and Dr. Hossein Omoumi.


Bassist Viktor Krauss studied music in his hometown of Champaign at the University of Illinois.  His first recording as a leader, Far From Enough, featuring Jerry Douglas, Bill Frisell, Steve Jordan and Allison Krauss was released in 2003. His most recent recording titled II features Matt Chamberlain and Dean Parks with special guests Lyle Lovett, Shawn Colvin & Ben Taylor. For many years, he has been Lovett's bass player. Viktor first worked with Frisell on his landmark recording, Nashville.  Together with drum legend Jim Keltner, he provided his distinctive musical approach to Frisell¹s two celebrated late-90;s releases, Good Dog, Happy Man and Gone, Just Like A Train.  He also plays on Frisell’s live album, East/West.  Over the years, he has appeared on recordings with many other great musicians, including Graham Nash, Alison Krauss, Jerry Douglas and many others.


Greg Leisz Greg Leisz has been much in demand for playing country, folk, pop and rock music with such artists as Joni Mitchell, Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, Linda Ronstadt, Beck, KD Lang, Randy Newman, Dave Alvin, Gillian Welch, Lucinda Williams, Sheryl Crow, Paula Cole, Fiona Apple , Brian Wilson, Jackson Browne, John Mayer, Matthew Sweet and Joe Cocker. Leisz lives in his native Los Angeles and is well-known for his mastery of a variety of guitars and string instruments including pedal steel, dobro, National, Hawaiian Weissenborn, lap steel and mandolin, all of which he plays on Frisell's CD's, Blues Dream, Good Dog, Happy Man and The Intercontinentals. Greg also performs with Bill in both duo and larger group formats.


A Denver, Colorado native, cornetist Ron Miles has played with Bill Frisell in a number of recording and live situations including his current quintet, the celebrated quartet of the mid-nineties, groups that perform in Frisell’s collaborative multi-media pieces with artist Jim Woodring, Mysterio Sympatico and Probability Cloud, his septet and with the group that interpreted Frisell’s arrangements of songs by Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach.  He has appeared on such recordings as Blues Dream, Quartet and The Sweetest Punch.  Ron has recorded as a leader for Gramavision with two releases, Woman’s Day and My Cruel Heart.  More recently he recorded a CD, entitled Heaven, a duo recording for Sterling Circle Records on which Bill is his guest, and Laughing Barrell with his quartet featuring Brandon Ross, Anthony Cox and Rudy Royston.  Ron also plays with clarinetist Don Byron, vocalist Madeleine Peyroux, and has worked with drummer Ginger Baker and guitarist Charlie Hunter.  When not on the road, he serves as Assistant Professor of trumpet at Metropolitan State College in Denver.


Bassist David Piltch came of age in the Toronto where he was an integral part of the Canada jazz scene accompanying such greats as Chet Baker, Art Pepper, Kenny Wheeler and Tom Harrell. In more recent years he has relocated to the Los Angeles area where he works closely with K.D. Lang. He has been an active member of Bill Frisell’s New Quartet as well as his septet with which he appeared on Blues Dream. Other artists with whom he has worked include The Holmes Brothers, Holly Cole, Janice Ian and many others.


Hank Roberts was a member of Bill's first working group, The Bill Frisell Band for a number of years along with bassist Kermit Driscoll and drummer Joey Baron. He has recently returned to working with Bill in his 858 Quartet. As a leader, his recordings include "The Truth and Reconciliation Show", "I'll Always Remember" and "Black Pastels". He has played and recorded with Tim Berne, Arcado String Trio and Miniature.


A native of Ft. Worth, Texas, Rudy Royston was raised in Denver, Colorado.  He studied classical percussion at the University of Denver.  While in college, Rudy began playing with trumpeter Ron Miles, whom Rudy deems his greatest teacher and music mentor.  It was on Ron Miles’ recording Woman’s Day that Rudy first played with Bill Frisell.  A major figure in the Denver music scene, Rudy performed with artist such as Dotsero, Leslie Drayton, Joe Keel, and Nelson Rangell.  He began teaching music in public schools before relocating to the east coast.  In 2006, he moved to New Jersey to pursue graduate studies in music at Rutgers University, studying Jazz percussion with Victor Lewis.  Since moving, Rudy has begun performing steadily with Bill Frisell in quartet and trio settings.  He quickly integrated into the New York music scene, performing with Javon Jackson, Les McCann, JD Allen, Sean Jones, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Jennifer Holiday, Ralph Bowen, Bruce Barth, Don Byron, Jason Moran, and Jenny Scheinmenn, to name a few.  A lover of all genres of music, Rudy continues to expand his horizons as he gains increasing recognition in the world of Jazz.


Violinist  Jenny Scheinman grew up in Northern California, studied at Oberlin Conservatory and in New York with Gerald Beal.  Aside from being a member of Frisell’s Unspeakable Orchestra and his 858 Quartet, she was in The Intercontinentals, appearing on the Grammy-nominated album of the same name.  She also performs in Frisell’s trios with Ron Miles and Greg Leisz.  Jenny leads a number of her own groups with constantly fluctuating guests and works frequently with Madeleine Peyroux, Marc Ribot, Vinicius Cantuaria and Scott Amendola.  She also has played with Aretha Franklin, Norah Jones, Myra Melford, Nels Cline, John Zorn, among others.  Her own recordings include 12 Songs,  Shalagaster, The Rabbi’s Lover, Live at Yoshi’s, The Django Project and Giant Trio.  Jenny also appears on the new album by Lucinda Williams as well as a number of CD’s produced by Lee Townsend with singers Cantuaria (from Brazil), Shweta Jhaveri (from India), Gabriela (from Argentina) and fellow Californian Paul Sprawl.  She first played with Frisell on Gabriela’s recording Viento Rojo.  Early in her career she lived and worked in the San Francisco Bay Area and currently lives in New York City.


Although Tony Scherr is perhaps best known for his work as a bassist in a number of Bill Frisell’s bands, Steven Bernstein’s Sexmob and Willie Nelson, he is also a prolific guitarist and songwriter in his own right as well as a Grammy nominated producer.   His songs have made their way into indie-rock chanteuse Feist’s live sets as well as on to her breakthrough release Let It Die, and his performance of Jesse Harris’ You The Queen landed in Ethan Hawke’s film, The Hottest State.   Scherr has two recordings of his own, Twist in the Wind and Come Around on Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley’s indie label, Smells Like Records.  He is one of the busiest sidemen in New York City with recent recording credits on new albums by Broken Social Scene’s Jason Collett, Rufus Wainwright, Norah Jones and Teddy Thompson.  His anomalous Monday night weekly residency at Marion’s Marquee Lounge on the Bowery is now in its second year running.  As a bassist he has contributed to projects by Joey Baron, John Scofield, Maria Schneider, John Lurie and the Lounge Lizards and many others.


Born in New Orleans, Gregory Tardy began his musical career studying classical clarinet, subsequently turning to the tenor saxophone on which he explored many musical styles, especially falling in love with jazz. Tardy has played with Elvin Jones, the Neville Brothers, Nicholas Payton, Ellis Marsalis, Tom Harrell, Andrew Hill, Dave Douglas, John Patitucci, Wynton Marsalis, Jay McShann, Steve Coleman, James Moody and Rashied Ali, among others. His records as a leader include "Serendipity", "Hidden Light" and Abundance. He has played both tenor saxophone and clarinet in Bill Frisell's quintet featuring trumpeter Ron Miles and the rhythm section of Tony Scherr and Kenny Wollesen.



A ubiquitous presence on the New York downtown scene, drummer Kenny Wollesen's latest projects include collaborating with Cyro Baptista on the Sound of Community Project, playing bass drum with the marching band Himalayas, playing vibes in a plethora of John Zorn bands, playing drums regularly with Sexmob, Love Trio, Bill Frisell, U-Roy and he is a founding member of Wollesonic Laboratories.

 




Bill Frisell on his trio with Viktor Krauss and Kenny Wollesen: "I first met Viktor Krauss when he played on my Nashville album. Since then he's joined me on Gone, Just Like a Train, Good Dog, Happy Man, and The Sweetest Punch. A lot of the music we play comes from these albums, but there's been a lot of new stuff added as well. Viktor has a completely original way of playing and a sound and feel to die for. Playing with Viktor and Kenny together is like riding in a 1959 Cadillac (that's running REAL good)."

 

Bill Frisell's other new quintet features Ron Miles (trumpet), Greg Tardy (tenor sax), Tony Scherr (bass), Kenny Wollesen (drums): With a group sound in mind, Frisell has been eager to explore the orchestration possibilities for this specific combination of musical personalities. Equally at home in many musical idioms, the members of the this group are comfortable in many of the numerous musical directions that Frisell frequently navigates.

 

Bill Frisell on his duo with Greg Leisz: "The first time I played with Greg Leisz was on my recording Good Dog, Happy Man. From the first notes we played together I felt completely connected to him musically. It's like he's the other half of my brain....He plays all of the things I wish I could play, but can't. We never figure anything out....it's so easy for us to play spontaneously and not get in each other's way. He's spent many years playing behind singers and I've spent many years trying to play like a singer. Maybe that's why it works so well. He also has an incredible knowledge of all kinds of American music from the early part of the 20th century on up to today. There's so much I learn from him. We've played together often over the past couple of years, but always in the context of my group. For a long time now we've both wanted to play in a duet setting and see what might happen."