Bill Frisell

This Land

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Famed photographer Walker Evans' black-and-white photo of a rural Mississippi railroad station sets the stage for guitarist Bill Frisell's homespun depiction of Americana on this 1994 release. Here, the artist and his horn-based sextet serve up an aural panorama consisting of country blues motifs, modern jazz, and even Caribbean grooves. The guitarist's now familiar penchant for constructing climactic opuses framed upon his deft utilization of volume control and often-slithery mode of attack counterbalances the horn sections' pumping notes and harmonious choruses. Essentially, melody is the key throughout these pleasantly arranged pieces, as Frisell makes his axe talk and cry while also partaking in lustrous unison lines with Don Byron (clarinet), Curtis Fowlkes (trombone), and Billy Drewes (alto sax). Overall, This Land signifies yet another powerful statement by this wonderfully inventive musician. Recommended!

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