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Bill Frisell quartet plays Wellington Jazz Festival / review

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Bill Frisell played the Wellington Jazz Festival with a quartet consisting of Petra Haden, daughter of the late bassist Charlie on vocals, Thomas Morgan on bass and Rudy Royston on percussion, whose work was nothing short of brilliant. The set started off with a version of Moon River, a Henry Mancini tune that nearly missed the cut in the film Breakfast at Tiffany's due to the lack of foresight from the producers. It's a plaintive number, but the slow tempo seems unsuitable for Haden's vocals. When she left the stage, the number picked up, which was surely where she should have made an entrance. It's a paradox that Frisell loves these lighter numbers; Burt Bacharach's and Hal David's Alfie, two James Bond themes – Goldfinger and You Only Live Twice – and When You Wish Upon a Star, when he is known mainly as a jazz guitarist, and a daunting and adventurous one at that.