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Bill Frisell plays TD Ottawa JF's Studio Series / Ottawa Citizen review

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Always on the lookout for opportunities to "dig around for where I'm coming from," Bill Frisell's project, GUITAR IN THE SPACE AGE! is an homage to the inspirational popular music of his formative years made in the wake of "the birth of the Fender Telecaster guitar" - (1951, the same year as Frisell's own birth) - that, he recalls, "got me super fired-up" about his instrument of choice. Frisell and his band mates explore material, recently recorded for release on Okeh/Sony Masterworks, associated with The Beach Boys, Junior Wells, Pete Seeger, The Byrds, Duane Eddy, The Ventures, The Kinks, Chet Atkins, Link Wray, Jimi Hendrix, Speedy West & Jimmy Bryant, The Astronauts, Merle Travis, Johnny Smith and others, as well as original material by Frisell. As on all of his projects, the proceedings will be, Bill understates, "rich with possibility" – and on this one especially, involve a potent dose of fun!

As part of the TD Ottawa Jazz Festival, the master guitarist treated a packed house at the NAC Studio Tuesday night to a happy and intimate communion with his 1960s garage-band past. Grinning throughout, Frisell led his band through a blur of jangly, twanging, reverberating music that was on one hand deeply nostalgic but also fresh and spontaneous, forcefully coloured by Frisell's staggering ability to pull a universe of sounds from his instrument and electronic effects.