Bill Frisell

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Bill Frisell has a show on 07/30/2014 at 06:30 PM @ Dimitriou's Jazz Alley in Seattle, WA http://t.co/JHOlMOrbJ5 #concert


At a Glance

Birthname: William Richard Frisell
Nationality: American
Born: Mar 18 1951


Biography

In a career spanning more than 25 years and over 200 recordings, including 25 albums of his own, guitarist, composer, and bandleader Bill Frisell is now firmly established as a visionary presence in American music. He has collaborated with a wide range of artists, filmmakers and legendary musicians. But it is his work as a leader that has garnered increasing attention and accolades. The New York Times described Frisell’s music this way. “It's hard to find a more fruitful meditation on American music than in the compositions of guitarist Bill Frisell. Mixing rock and country with jazz and ... Read more

In a career spanning more than 25 years and over 200 recordings, including 25 albums of his own, guitarist, composer, and bandleader Bill Frisell is now firmly established as a visionary presence in American music. He has collaborated with a wide range of artists, filmmakers and legendary musicians. But it is his work as a leader that has garnered increasing attention and accolades. The New York Times described Frisell’s music this way. “It's hard to find a more fruitful meditation on American music than in the compositions of guitarist Bill Frisell. Mixing rock and country with jazz and blues, he's found what connects them: improvisation and a sense of play. Unlike other pastichists, who tend to duck passion, Mr. Frisell plays up the pleasure in the music and also takes on another often-avoided subject, tenderness."

Frisell’s recordings over the last decades span a wide range of musical influences. His catalog, including over twenty recordings for Nonesuch, has been cited by Downbeat as “the best recorded output of the decade.” It includes original Buster Keaton film scores to arrangements of music for extended ensemble with horns (This Land, Blues Dream); adaptations of his compositions originally written as sound-tracks to Gary Larson cartoons (Quartet); interpretations of work by other classic and contemporary American composers (Have a Little Faith) ; and collaborations with the acclaimed rhythm section of bassist Viktor Krauss and drummer Jim Keltner (Gone, Just Like a Train, Good Dog, Happy Man). Other releases include an album with Nashville musicians (Nashville), the solo album Ghost Town, an album of his arrangements of songs by Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach (The Sweetest Punch), a trio album with jazz legends Dave Holland and Elvin Jones, and a collection of American traditional songs and original compositions inspired by them entitled The Willies. The Intercontinentals, nominated for a Grammy in 2004 is an album that combines Frisell’s own brand of American roots music and his unmistakable improvisational style with the influences of Brazilian, Greek, and Malian sounds. His 2004 release, entitled Unspeakable, produced by Hal Wilner, won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Album. East/West is a two CD set, featuring his two working trios recorded in concert on both coasts. Bill Frisell, Ron Carter, Paul Motian features two jazz legends that Bill considers among his true mentors and musical inspirations. His collaborative project Floratone (Blue Note) with drummer Matt Chamberlain and producers Lee Townsend & Tucker Martine, was described by All About Jazz as “a modern masterpiece.” History, Mystery was nominated for a Grammy award in Best Instrumental Jazz category, featuring an octet of strings, horns and rhythm section with some of his closest music collaborators exploring a fuller palette of compositional colors and timbres than any he has previously written for. “The whole album stands as yet another testament to the man's place at the very epicenter of modern American music." - BBC. His recent album, “Disfarmer”, inspired by the photographer Mike Disfarmer, was described by the Houston Chronicle as follows: "Frisell's pacing is magnificent, and the album sweeps along with purpose like a gorgeous, spacious epic. It is full of sounds that suggest settings and characters, including the mysterious eccentric who inspired the recording."

Frisell’s recent album, Beautiful Dreamers, launched his new relationship with the Savoy Jazz label and features Eyvind Kang (viola) and Rudy Royston (drums). “This record doesn’t really sound much like jazz as much as compelling, emotionally resonant, genre-free music. Sure, it swings in places, and there’s some fiery improvisation. But after decades of trodding such a brave and singular path, maybe Frisell deserves his own genre. How about ‘friz’?” Financial Times (London). Frisell’s recent collaboration with Brazilian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Vinicius Cantuaria. “Lágrimas Mexicanas” (E-one), has been described as “warm, sexy and visionary” (All Music Guide). Drawing heavily from Brazilian and Latin rhythms and blending them with contemporary ambient sonic effects, they create a fresh new brew of multi-cultural music.

In the Spring, Frisell’s recording, “Sign of Life”, with his 858 Quartet featuring Jenny Scheinman (violin), Eyvind Kang (viola) and Hank Roberts (cello) will be released on Savoy.

Says Bill about the 858 Quartet project:

“In September 2010 I went to the Vermont Studio Center, way up north, in Johnson, Vermont. Every day I went into an empty room and wrote music. It really started piling up. I taped some of it up on the walls so I could see what kind of progress I was making. After about three weeks, Jenny, Eyvind, and Hank showed up. We played through some of it, did a concert for the folks up there, and then went directly to Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California to record the album, "Sign of Life", with Lee Townsend producing and Adam Munoz engineering.

I write the music down on paper. It is difficult to say what is composed, orchestrated, improvised, or arranged. We all look at what's on the paper and make our own decisions. I don't really have to tell anyone what to do. It is a musical language alive and changing all the time... growing and developing.

My relationship with these guys goes way back. I met Hank in 1975, Eyvind a few years later, and Jenny a few years after that. We are family. In 2002 we got together as a quartet for the first time. We recorded music inspired by a series of paintings by Gerhard Richter entitled 858 #1-8. We kept the name. Since then, we've continued to play as a group, all over the place, all kinds of stuff, in all kinds of situations. The 858 Quartet can be heard on my "Unspeakable" and "History, Mystery" albums.

Many years ago I had a wonderful dream. I came into an old house. Climbed higher and higher up winding stairways until I came to a library filled with old books and strange artifacts. Seated around a table were these nice little people dressed in robes... like monks or something. They started showing me stuff. The REAL stuff. What things really were. "Here is what colors look like." They opened a little box and took out little blocks of different colors. Red like I'd never seen. Like I had been blind and was seeing color for the first time. So intense. They kept on showing me all these amazing things. After a while they said, "We know you are a musician, so we'd like to let you hear what music really sounds like." What I heard would be impossible to describe. It was like everything I had ever heard happening simultaneously, absolutely clear, shot like an arrow between my eyes...or a rocket ship traveling through my head or I was traveling though it. It was the most amazing thing I've ever heard. Then I woke up. This dream gave me something to strive for. I may never get there, but I'm going to keep trying. There have been one or two moments playing with the 858 Quartet where for a split second I thought I heard that sound again. I am so thankful. I feel so lucky.”

Beginning in 2008, a trilogy of Frisell’s music DVD’s was released. First was Solos, shot in Toronto in high definition. Following in 2009, were the long awaited Films of Buster Keaton, Music By Bill Frisell featuring Frisell’s original trio, Kermit Driscoll on bass and Joey Baron on drums as well as Live From Montreal, shot at the Montreal Jazz Festival in 2002 and featuring Matt Chamberlain on drums, Billy Drewes on alto saxophone, Curtis Fowlkes on trombone, Ron Miles on cornet and Greg Leisz on steel guitars. It showcases the music of Frisell’s celebrated album, Blues Dream.

In 2006, Frisell was named a USA Rasmuson Fellow and became a recipient of a grant offered by United States Artists, a privately funded organization dedicated to the support of America's finest living artists.

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

In a career spanning more than 25 years and over 200 recordings, including 25 albums of his own, guitarist, composer, and bandleader Bill Frisell is now firmly established as a visionary presence in American music. He has collaborated with a wide range of artists, filmmakers and legendary musicians. But it is his work as a leader that has garnered increasing attention and accolades. The New York Times described Frisell’s music this way. “It's hard to find a more fruitful meditation on American music than in the compositions of guitarist Bill Frisell. Mixing rock and country with jazz and blues, he's found what connects them: improvisation and a sense of play. Unlike other pastichists, who tend to duck passion, Mr. Frisell plays up the pleasure in the music and also takes on another often-avoided subject, tenderness."

Frisell’s recordings over the last decades span a wide range of musical influences. His catalog, including over twenty recordings for Nonesuch, has been cited by Downbeat as “the best recorded output of the decade.” It includes original Buster Keaton film scores to arrangements of music for extended ensemble with horns (This Land, Blues Dream); adaptations of his compositions originally written as sound-tracks to Gary Larson cartoons (Quartet); interpretations of work by other classic and contemporary American composers (Have a Little Faith) ; and collaborations with the acclaimed rhythm section of bassist Viktor Krauss and drummer Jim Keltner (Gone, Just Like a Train, Good Dog, Happy Man). Other releases include an album with Nashville musicians (Nashville), the solo album Ghost Town, an album of his arrangements of songs by Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach (The Sweetest Punch), a trio album with jazz legends Dave Holland and Elvin Jones, and a collection of American traditional songs and original compositions inspired by them entitled The Willies. The Intercontinentals, nominated for a Grammy in 2004 is an album that combines Frisell’s own brand of American roots music and his unmistakable improvisational style with the influences of Brazilian, Greek, and Malian sounds. His 2004 release, entitled Unspeakable, produced by Hal Wilner, won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Album. East/West is a two CD set, featuring his two working trios recorded in concert on both coasts. Bill Frisell, Ron Carter, Paul Motian features two jazz legends that Bill considers among his true mentors and musical inspirations. His collaborative project Floratone (Blue Note) with drummer Matt Chamberlain and producers Lee Townsend & Tucker Martine, was described by All About Jazz as “a modern masterpiece.” History, Mystery was nominated for a Grammy award in Best Instrumental Jazz category, featuring an octet of strings, horns and rhythm section with some of his closest music collaborators exploring a fuller palette of compositional colors and timbres than any he has previously written for. “The whole album stands as yet another testament to the man's place at the very epicenter of modern American music." - BBC. His recent album, “Disfarmer”, inspired by the photographer Mike Disfarmer, was described by the Houston Chronicle as follows: "Frisell's pacing is magnificent, and the album sweeps along with purpose like a gorgeous, spacious epic. It is full of sounds that suggest settings and characters, including the mysterious eccentric who inspired the recording."

Frisell’s recent album, Beautiful Dreamers, launched his new relationship with the Savoy Jazz label and features Eyvind Kang (viola) and Rudy Royston (drums). “This record doesn’t really sound much like jazz as much as compelling, emotionally resonant, genre-free music. Sure, it swings in places, and there’s some fiery improvisation. But after decades of trodding such a brave and singular path, maybe Frisell deserves his own genre. How about ‘friz’?” Financial Times (London). Frisell’s recent collaboration with Brazilian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Vinicius Cantuaria. “Lágrimas Mexicanas” (E-one), has been described as “warm, sexy and visionary” (All Music Guide). Drawing heavily from Brazilian and Latin rhythms and blending them with contemporary ambient sonic effects, they create a fresh new brew of multi-cultural music.

In the Spring, Frisell’s recording, “Sign of Life”, with his 858 Quartet featuring Jenny Scheinman (violin), Eyvind Kang (viola) and Hank Roberts (cello) will be released on Savoy.

Says Bill about the 858 Quartet project:

“In September 2010 I went to the Vermont Studio Center, way up north, in Johnson, Vermont. Every day I went into an empty room and wrote music. It really started piling up. I taped some of it up on the walls so I could see what kind of progress I was making. After about three weeks, Jenny, Eyvind, and Hank showed up. We played through some of it, did a concert for the folks up there, and then went directly to Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California to record the album, "Sign of Life", with Lee Townsend producing and Adam Munoz engineering.

I write the music down on paper. It is difficult to say what is composed, orchestrated, improvised, or arranged. We all look at what's on the paper and make our own decisions. I don't really have to tell anyone what to do. It is a musical language alive and changing all the time... growing and developing.

My relationship with these guys goes way back. I met Hank in 1975, Eyvind a few years later, and Jenny a few years after that. We are family. In 2002 we got together as a quartet for the first time. We recorded music inspired by a series of paintings by Gerhard Richter entitled 858 #1-8. We kept the name. Since then, we've continued to play as a group, all over the place, all kinds of stuff, in all kinds of situations. The 858 Quartet can be heard on my "Unspeakable" and "History, Mystery" albums.

Many years ago I had a wonderful dream. I came into an old house. Climbed higher and higher up winding stairways until I came to a library filled with old books and strange artifacts. Seated around a table were these nice little people dressed in robes... like monks or something. They started showing me stuff. The REAL stuff. What things really were. "Here is what colors look like." They opened a little box and took out little blocks of different colors. Red like I'd never seen. Like I had been blind and was seeing color for the first time. So intense. They kept on showing me all these amazing things. After a while they said, "We know you are a musician, so we'd like to let you hear what music really sounds like." What I heard would be impossible to describe. It was like everything I had ever heard happening simultaneously, absolutely clear, shot like an arrow between my eyes...or a rocket ship traveling through my head or I was traveling though it. It was the most amazing thing I've ever heard. Then I woke up. This dream gave me something to strive for. I may never get there, but I'm going to keep trying. There have been one or two moments playing with the 858 Quartet where for a split second I thought I heard that sound again. I am so thankful. I feel so lucky.”

Beginning in 2008, a trilogy of Frisell’s music DVD’s was released. First was Solos, shot in Toronto in high definition. Following in 2009, were the long awaited Films of Buster Keaton, Music By Bill Frisell featuring Frisell’s original trio, Kermit Driscoll on bass and Joey Baron on drums as well as Live From Montreal, shot at the Montreal Jazz Festival in 2002 and featuring Matt Chamberlain on drums, Billy Drewes on alto saxophone, Curtis Fowlkes on trombone, Ron Miles on cornet and Greg Leisz on steel guitars. It showcases the music of Frisell’s celebrated album, Blues Dream.

In 2006, Frisell was named a USA Rasmuson Fellow and became a recipient of a grant offered by United States Artists, a privately funded organization dedicated to the support of America's finest living artists.

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

In a career spanning more than 25 years and over 200 recordings, including 25 albums of his own, guitarist, composer, and bandleader Bill Frisell is now firmly established as a visionary presence in American music. He has collaborated with a wide range of artists, filmmakers and legendary musicians. But it is his work as a leader that has garnered increasing attention and accolades. The New York Times described Frisell’s music this way. “It's hard to find a more fruitful meditation on American music than in the compositions of guitarist Bill Frisell. Mixing rock and country with jazz and blues, he's found what connects them: improvisation and a sense of play. Unlike other pastichists, who tend to duck passion, Mr. Frisell plays up the pleasure in the music and also takes on another often-avoided subject, tenderness."

Frisell’s recordings over the last decades span a wide range of musical influences. His catalog, including over twenty recordings for Nonesuch, has been cited by Downbeat as “the best recorded output of the decade.” It includes original Buster Keaton film scores to arrangements of music for extended ensemble with horns (This Land, Blues Dream); adaptations of his compositions originally written as sound-tracks to Gary Larson cartoons (Quartet); interpretations of work by other classic and contemporary American composers (Have a Little Faith) ; and collaborations with the acclaimed rhythm section of bassist Viktor Krauss and drummer Jim Keltner (Gone, Just Like a Train, Good Dog, Happy Man). Other releases include an album with Nashville musicians (Nashville), the solo album Ghost Town, an album of his arrangements of songs by Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach (The Sweetest Punch), a trio album with jazz legends Dave Holland and Elvin Jones, and a collection of American traditional songs and original compositions inspired by them entitled The Willies. The Intercontinentals, nominated for a Grammy in 2004 is an album that combines Frisell’s own brand of American roots music and his unmistakable improvisational style with the influences of Brazilian, Greek, and Malian sounds. His 2004 release, entitled Unspeakable, produced by Hal Wilner, won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Album. East/West is a two CD set, featuring his two working trios recorded in concert on both coasts. Bill Frisell, Ron Carter, Paul Motian features two jazz legends that Bill considers among his true mentors and musical inspirations. His collaborative project Floratone (Blue Note) with drummer Matt Chamberlain and producers Lee Townsend & Tucker Martine, was described by All About Jazz as “a modern masterpiece.” History, Mystery was nominated for a Grammy award in Best Instrumental Jazz category, featuring an octet of strings, horns and rhythm section with some of his closest music collaborators exploring a fuller palette of compositional colors and timbres than any he has previously written for. “The whole album stands as yet another testament to the man's place at the very epicenter of modern American music." - BBC. His recent album, “Disfarmer”, inspired by the photographer Mike Disfarmer, was described by the Houston Chronicle as follows: "Frisell's pacing is magnificent, and the album sweeps along with purpose like a gorgeous, spacious epic. It is full of sounds that suggest settings and characters, including the mysterious eccentric who inspired the recording."

Frisell’s recent album, Beautiful Dreamers, launched his new relationship with the Savoy Jazz label and features Eyvind Kang (viola) and Rudy Royston (drums). “This record doesn’t really sound much like jazz as much as compelling, emotionally resonant, genre-free music. Sure, it swings in places, and there’s some fiery improvisation. But after decades of trodding such a brave and singular path, maybe Frisell deserves his own genre. How about ‘friz’?” Financial Times (London). Frisell’s recent collaboration with Brazilian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Vinicius Cantuaria. “Lágrimas Mexicanas” (E-one), has been described as “warm, sexy and visionary” (All Music Guide). Drawing heavily from Brazilian and Latin rhythms and blending them with contemporary ambient sonic effects, they create a fresh new brew of multi-cultural music.

In the Spring, Frisell’s recording, “Sign of Life”, with his 858 Quartet featuring Jenny Scheinman (violin), Eyvind Kang (viola) and Hank Roberts (cello) will be released on Savoy.

Says Bill about the 858 Quartet project:

“In September 2010 I went to the Vermont Studio Center, way up north, in Johnson, Vermont. Every day I went into an empty room and wrote music. It really started piling up. I taped some of it up on the walls so I could see what kind of progress I was making. After about three weeks, Jenny, Eyvind, and Hank showed up. We played through some of it, did a concert for the folks up there, and then went directly to Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California to record the album, "Sign of Life", with Lee Townsend producing and Adam Munoz engineering.

I write the music down on paper. It is difficult to say what is composed, orchestrated, improvised, or arranged. We all look at what's on the paper and make our own decisions. I don't really have to tell anyone what to do. It is a musical language alive and changing all the time... growing and developing.

My relationship with these guys goes way back. I met Hank in 1975, Eyvind a few years later, and Jenny a few years after that. We are family. In 2002 we got together as a quartet for the first time. We recorded music inspired by a series of paintings by Gerhard Richter entitled 858 #1-8. We kept the name. Since then, we've continued to play as a group, all over the place, all kinds of stuff, in all kinds of situations. The 858 Quartet can be heard on my "Unspeakable" and "History, Mystery" albums.

Many years ago I had a wonderful dream. I came into an old house. Climbed higher and higher up winding stairways until I came to a library filled with old books and strange artifacts. Seated around a table were these nice little people dressed in robes... like monks or something. They started showing me stuff. The REAL stuff. What things really were. "Here is what colors look like." They opened a little box and took out little blocks of different colors. Red like I'd never seen. Like I had been blind and was seeing color for the first time. So intense. They kept on showing me all these amazing things. After a while they said, "We know you are a musician, so we'd like to let you hear what music really sounds like." What I heard would be impossible to describe. It was like everything I had ever heard happening simultaneously, absolutely clear, shot like an arrow between my eyes...or a rocket ship traveling through my head or I was traveling though it. It was the most amazing thing I've ever heard. Then I woke up. This dream gave me something to strive for. I may never get there, but I'm going to keep trying. There have been one or two moments playing with the 858 Quartet where for a split second I thought I heard that sound again. I am so thankful. I feel so lucky.”

Beginning in 2008, a trilogy of Frisell’s music DVD’s was released. First was Solos, shot in Toronto in high definition. Following in 2009, were the long awaited Films of Buster Keaton, Music By Bill Frisell featuring Frisell’s original trio, Kermit Driscoll on bass and Joey Baron on drums as well as Live From Montreal, shot at the Montreal Jazz Festival in 2002 and featuring Matt Chamberlain on drums, Billy Drewes on alto saxophone, Curtis Fowlkes on trombone, Ron Miles on cornet and Greg Leisz on steel guitars. It showcases the music of Frisell’s celebrated album, Blues Dream.

In 2006, Frisell was named a USA Rasmuson Fellow and became a recipient of a grant offered by United States Artists, a privately funded organization dedicated to the support of America's finest living artists.

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

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