Petra Haden

Petra Haden & Bill Frisell

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It's safe to say that most albums don't include renditions of tunes by Foo Fighters, George Gershwin, and Stevie Wonder, along with traditional Tuvan folk songs, together on the same track list. Unless, of course, you're referring to the 2005 disc by the duo of Bill Frisell and Petra Haden. One of the foremost guitarists in contemporary jazz, Frisell is renowned for his signature guitarscapes, heard through a galaxy of effects and loops. Haden is an eclectic vocalist/violinist formerly of the indie-pop group That Dog (and, incidentally, the daughter of jazz bass great Charlie Haden), whose singing is guileless, experimental, and endearing all at once.

Together, Haden and Frisell create an unexpected magic, with Frisell's shimmering chords and electronically embellished atmospheres providing the perfect pillow for Haden's sleepy, breathy voice (which she layers in harmonies to excellent effect). The songs--also including Coldplay's "Yellow," Henry Mancini's "Moon River," Tom Waits's "I Don't Want to Grow Up," and the Disney classic "When You Wish Upon a Star"--are incongruous only in theory. The lush, lullaby-like quality of the duo's sound gives the album a remarkably cohesive feel, highlighting the strength of the material and the chemistry of this unusual pair.

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