Bill Frisell & Thomas Morgan – Epistrophy (2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:08:37 minutes | 1,14 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © ECM
Like the duo’s acclaimed ECM release Small Town of 2017 – which The Guardian called “wistful and mesmerizing… tonally ingenious and haunting” – the new Epistrophy by guitarist Bill Frisell and bassist Thomas Morgan was recorded at New York City’s Village Vanguard. The album once again captures the rare empathy these two players achieve in this intimate environment. There are poetic takes on pieces from the duo’s beloved Americana songbook (“All in Fun,” “Red River Valley,” “Save the Last Dance for Me”), as well as an intense version of a composition by Paul Motian (“Mumbo Jumbo”), an artist whom both the guitarist and bassist knew well. Frisell and Morgan communicate the essence of Billy Strayhorn’s “Lush Life” and the Frank Sinatra hit “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning,” so much so that their famous words seem to hang in the air even without a singer. At the center of the album is a pair of pieces by Thelonious Monk: the funky, angular “Epistrophy” and the ruminative ballad “Pannonica.” And as with “Goldfinger” on Small Town, Frisell and Morgan offer a glowing duo interpretation of a melody-rich John Barry title tune from a James Bond film – “You Only Live Twice.” Frisell made his debut as a leader for ECM in 1983 with In Line, establishing one of the most distinctive sounds of any modern guitarist. His rich history with the label also includes multiple recordings by the iconic cooperative trio with Paul Motian and Joe Lovano, culminating in Time and Time Again in 2007. Morgan, who also performed and recorded with Motian, has appeared on ECM as bassist of choice for Tomasz Stanko, Craig Taborn, Jakob Bro, David Virelles, Giovanni Guidi and Masabumi Kikuchi. One of the bonds Frisell and Morgan share is the connection with Motian and his music. Small Town included a tribute to Motian in the form of a searching, 11-minute interpretation of the late drummer’s composition “It Should’ve Happened a Long Time Ago.” On Epistrophy, the duo features “Mumbo Jumbo,” a very different sort of Motian composition. “It’s one of Paul’s denser, more abstract pieces,” Frisell explains. “But as with all of Paul’s tunes, you play the melody of ‘Mumbo Jumbo’ and it puts you in this special world, where every note suggests all these possibilities. Thomas and I are right there together in this music. I had played ‘Mumbo Jumbo’ with Paul and Joe, but Thomas showed me things in the piece I didn’t realize were there.”
Paul Motian with Bill Frisell, Joe Lovano & Charlie Haden – Standards Plus One (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44.1 kHz | Time – 00:55:05 minutes | 620 MB | Genre: Jazz
Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz| © Winter & Winter GmbH
Featuring reinterpretations of famous jazz standards by artists like Joe Lovano, Lee Konitz, Bill Frisell, Charlie Haden, and his daughter Petra Haden on vocals, Paul Motian creates an audio film about scenes in New York City for closed eyes.
Andrew Cyrille, Wadada Leo Smith & Bill Frisell – Lebroba (2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 42:24 minutes | 706 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © ECM
In 2016, Andrew Cyrille brought out an album with a powerfully unambiguous title: The Declaration Of Musical Independence. This was no surprise, coming from a free jazz militant who insists on authentic material direct from the source, and who has worked alongside some of the biggest names on the scene such as Cecil Taylor, Anthony Braxton, Marion Brown, Walt Dickerson, Charlie Haden, Carla Bley, Oliver Lake and Horace Tapscott… Two years on, the New York drummer has brought in Bill Frisell for Lebroba, this time as part of a trio, with trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith. The album’s title is a contraction of the names of the three men’s home towns: Leland, Brooklyn and Baltimore. Their idea is undoubtedly to democratically divide responsibility and Cyrille let’s his bandmates work in whichever way they see fit. Even the writing is shared out between these three avant-garde jazz masters. The meditative tone of the work here is set by the track Turiya, dedicated to Alice Coltrane. The whole album is a kind of celebration of space and time… Lebroba will leave you feeling like you’re floating across a sublime bluesy landscape. – Marc Zisman
Bill Frisell – Music IS (2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 58:38 minutes | 1,01 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Booklet, Front Cover | © Okeh – Sony Masterworks
The guitar isn’t the most used instrument among jazzmen, and revolutionary guitarists are quite logically very seldom. Bill Frisell is lucky enough to be one of them. Year after year (with a career spanning four decades!) and album after album (over forty records under his name, and three hundred as a sideman!), the American has imposed his singular voice, one of the most influential of the last twenty years. Frisell quickly set himself apart from his elders by taking his – instantly recognisable – style onto every possible repertoire. Post bop, free, noise, rock, country, 50s music, he dove into an incredible amount of partitions while staying true to his language and his style − simply put: remaining himself. Yet Music IS isn’t just another album designed to build up his already dense discography. He who shares his music first and foremost, felt the need to express himself on a solo project, a context he’s never really been fond of, often admitting in interviews that he gave his first solo concert years after starting his professional career… But Music IS is the result of a need to play, on acoustic and electric guitar, his own music. After revisiting the music of others, Bill Frisell has decided in this 2018 opus to gather new as well as older themes, some he hadn’t played for years. Listening to these fifteen tracks in one go is like travelling in the colourful meanders of this exceptional musician’s brain. Whether he refines his phrases to the extreme like his master Jim Hall, launches in oversaturated hand-to-hand fights or performs Americana in his own impressionistic way, Bill Frisell delivers improvisations of eternal beauty. Even though this album may feel like a testament piece, Music IS is the work of an artist more alive than ever. And without a doubt one of his most beautiful albums.
Bill Frisell, Thomas Morgan – Small Town (2017)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:08:07 minutes | 1,13 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Q0buz | Digital Booklet | © ECM
Small Town presents guitarist Bill Frisell and bassist Thomas Morgan in a program of duets, the poetic chemistry of their playing captured live at New York s hallowed Village Vanguard. Small Town sees Frisell and Morgan pay homage to jazz elder Lee Konitz with his Subconscious Lee, and there are several country/blues-accented Frisell originals, including the hauntingly melodic title track. The duo caps the set with an inimitable treatment of John Barry’s famous James Bond theme Goldfinger.