Bill Frisell Quartet

Bill Frisell

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Bill Frisell Quartet Review

by Scott Yanow

Guitarist Bill Frisell has become well-known for his eccentric and highly versatile style. Able to sound like Jim Hall, a heavy metal player, or a Nashville studio guitarist at a moment's notice, Frisell has created sounds on the guitar that have never been heard before. This CD uses a rather unusual instrumentation, a quartet comprised of Frisell, trumpeter Ron Miles, trombonist Curtis Fowlkes and Eyvind Kang, who doubles on violin and tuba. Ten of the 13 Frisell originals on the release were originally written for films (including one for Gary Larson, "Tales from the Far Side," and one for a Buster Keaton movie "Convict 13"), and the resulting music is tightly arranged yet spontaneous, episodic, and sometimes a bit nutty, but also strangely logical. Whether it be the old-timey theme to "Dead Ranch," the blues in "Convict 13," a few somber ballads, or hints at early Duke Ellington (particularly by Miles' wah-wah trumpet), this is a continually interesting, offbeat set.

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