OKeh released Bill's album, Big Sur, on June 18th, 2013. The project marks his label debut as well as the first album featuring the Big Sur Quintet (which combines his 858 Quartet and Beautiful Dreamers trio).
The region known as Big Sur occupies 90 miles of spectacular central California coastline, midway between Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara, and extends inland to the abruptly rising Santa Lucia Mountains. Over the past century, Big Sur's rugged coastline and terrain, breathtaking vistas, and potential for communion with nature have attracted and inspired a multitude of creative types, such as Robinson Jeffers, Henry Miller, Jack Kerouac, Ansel Adams, Charles Lloyd, John Adams, Hunter S. Thompson, The Beach Boys, Death Cab For Cutie, and others.
On the sixth day, we are visited by jazz guitarist Bill Frisell. Frisell is no stranger to the Fretboard Journal, he was interviewed in our fourth issue by banjo player Danny Barnes and then, in issue 12, Frisell himself penned a story where he interviewed his guitar hero, Jim Hall. To be honest, we simply never get tired talking to him.
"Floratone is Mr. Frisell's studio alliance with the drummer Matt Chamberlain and the producers Lee Townsend and Tucker Martine. The project, which hinges on a deft editorial restructuring of free-form guitar-and-drums interplay, released its self-titled debut on Blue Note in 2007. Everyone on board seems to have adjusted to the premise since then. "Floratone II is a surer and more engaging album. Most of its tracks still feel like snapshots, but they're vivid, color-saturated, with flashes of intrigue." - NY Times / Nate Chinen
Paul Motian (March 25, 1931 - November 22, 2011)"No words for what I am feeling now. Music is good. Paul Motian was a MUSICIAN. He taught me, brought me up. Pointed the way. Showed me things I never could have imagined. Led me to places of extraordinary beauty. Indescribable. Paul never let up for one second. Raising it up. Always. No compromise. Listen to the MUSIC. I am blessed to have known him." ~ Bill Frisell
Consummate guitarist, composer and musical interpreter Bill Frisell has assembled a trusted ensemble consisting of Jenny Scheinman (violin), Tony Scherr (bass), Greg Leisz (guitars) and Kenny Wollesen (drums) to record his take on the classic songs of John Lennon. Titled "ALL WE ARE SAYING..." the project has long been in the works, one could go as far back as the first time he heard the Beatles at the age of 13. Fast forward a few decades and Frisell is asked to put together an impromptu set in honor of John Lennon as part of a special event in Paris. The preparation, performances and reception to these compositions was an inspiration nurtured to fruition with this project. Recorded at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley and produced by Lee Townsend, ALL WE ARE SAYING was released on Savoy Jazz on September 27, 2011.
Bill Frisell's album, Sign of Life was released on Savoy Records. The 858 Quartet was originally conceived a number of years ago when Frisell was commissioned to compose music inspired by the artist Gerhard Richter's 858 series of paintings which was exhibited by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The new recording is a result of a composing retreat that Frisell undertook during the fall of 2010 in Vermont. All of the material was written in the month of October and recorded in November, 2010. This represents the shortest gestation period of any Frisell recording to date. Produced by longtime collaborator Lee Townsend and recorded at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California in late 2010, 'Sign of Life' features Frisell on guitar, Jenny Scheinman on violin, Eyvind Kang on viola and Hank Roberts on cello.
A collaborative project featuring Brazilian singer-songwriter Cantuária (vocals, percussion and guitar) with Frisell (guitars and loops) on ten co-written original compositions. This is layered, texturally rich, rhythmically vibrant and melodically engaging music from two masters set for release in January 2011 on Entertainment One Music in North America and the Naïve label in Europe. Recorded in at Avast in Seattle and Fantasy Studios in Berkeley with engineers Jason Lehning and Adam Muñoz, mixed at Fantasy with Muñoz and mastered at Sterling Sound in New York with Greg Calbi. Produced by Lee Townsend.
The guitars of Bill Frisell and Vinicius Cantuária melt together in my car speakers as if impossibly designed to echo the beauty in this very moment...
The Great Flood is an evening long suite - 75 minutes of original music to be composed and performed by Bill Frisell with accompanying film and staging by Bill Morrison, reflecting on the Mississippi River Flood of 1927 and the ensuing transformation of American society, culture and music. Please watch the video clip for the details on this very exciting project! Also there is a comprehensive live review from No Depression.