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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Return to form from guitar maverick, 30 Dec 2004
By 
Ian Thumwood "ian17577" (Winchester) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Unspeakable (Audio CD)
Back in the late 1980's each new CD by Bill Frisell would be greeted with a buzz of excitement and this latest disc captures something of the radical spirit of those early days. Whilst not quite reaching the levels of "Nashville", "Ghost town" nor his masterpiece, "Quartet", "Unspeakable" has something of the ecclectic spirit of "Is that you" about it. (Well worth checking out if it is still available and I can imagine this latest offering similarly splitting listeners.)As a big fan of Mr. Frisell, I have felt that "Blues Dream" marked the turning point wherby his music became increasing ordinary and his compositional gifts had started to desert him. "Unspeakable" must therefore be embraced as a return to the form that made his music so special within the jazz canon.
The new disc pairs Frisell with producer / turn-tablist Hal Willner and features his regular trio plus a horn and string trio. It would be debatable to argue that what if what has resulted is jazz, but the results are impressive. "White fang" features some of the guitarists fiercest playing since he tore apart Madonna's "Live to tell" over ten years ago. Some of the music has echoes of motown, Prince and even U2 with the guitar dispersing shards of dissonance over some crunching grooves. On "Del Close", he comes the closest that I have heard him come to sound like Wes Montgomery. Other tracks seem to borrow from the likes of the excellent Medeski, Martin and
Wood. The themes are often very strong too.However, the best track in the final, evocative "Goodbye, Goodbye, Goodbye".
I must admit that I have been spectical of alot of the "Nu Jazz" that has emerged of late, but with "Unspeakable", Bill Frisell has shown that he too can immerse himself in samples but create something truly magicial as opposed to something that seems more suited to a car commercial.
Unreservedly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars experimantal... what else?, 6 Oct 2004
This review is from: Unspeakable (Audio CD)
Why only four stars? Because of Blues Dream...
...anyhow this remains an excellent album. Quite more experimental and definitely not for everybody.
It takes a while to get used to it, but then you end up loving it. If you're a long time fan of Frisell buy it now, otherwise try out Blues Dream or Nashville.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable, 7 Nov 2010
This review is from: Unspeakable (Audio CD)
Is it possible to accessible and avant-garde at the same time? Is it possible to be experimental and groovy at the same time? Is it possible to be jazzy and rockin at the same time? Is it possible to be edgy and soft at the same time? "Unspeakable" tells you the answer!
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Unspeakable
Unspeakable by Bill Frisell (Audio CD - 2004)
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