3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I'm not a jazz fan... but I'm not really sure that this record is jazz. It's like instrumental Americana - incorporating jazz, blues, folk and country - does that count as as jazz? Released in 1999 the disc contains all Frisell compositions apart from "Shenandoah", and features some disparate musicians including bassist Viktor Krauss, steel guitarist Greg Liesz, keyboard player Wayne Horvitz and drummer Jim Keltner. Kelter's mate guitarist Ry Cooder joins Bill on the absolutely wonderful "Shenandoah", a dark, brooding Celtic take on the song. As a blues fan I came to album because of this song but I do enjoy all the other tracks, many of which are quite bluesy and have as much of a blues and folk sensibility as a jazz one. Unlike other jazzers Frisell's compositions are relatively short and to the point (some as short as two and a half minutes) with focussed, refined playing and not endless noodling. Also, Frisell has the the most diverse guitar sound of any jazz guitarist making his music even more accessible. I particularly enjoyed the tracks "My buffalo girl", "Roscoe" and the title track.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 14 January 2010
This is a brilliant album, one of my favourite musical discoveries of recent years.
It's very difficult to classify. If , like me, you find yourself easily bored with pop music, regarding it as too simple, then this album may appeal to you.
He manages to occupy a position somewhere between pop music and serious instrumental music. What label should it be given? Jazz or Progressive? Does it matter?
Frisell absorbs a number of influences. The starting point seems to be folk-roots or country though he manages to produce instrumental music of a complexity greater than the songs usually associated with that genre. Rhythmic qualities suggest the influence of jazz.
For some Frisell's complexity does not go far enough.
They regard him as a sort of musical minimalist like Philip Glass, though, in truth, he is much more interesting.
This is not simply a blending of styles but a work of deep, intelligent musicianship.
A rare treat.