Stories » Bill Frisell releases spellbinding solo guitar album / Chicago Reader

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Bill Frisell releases spellbinding solo guitar album / Chicago Reader

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Few musicians have built as distinctive a sound world as guitarist Bill Frisell. Though he's ostensibly a jazz guitarist, since the early 80s he's funneled a wide variety of influences and ideas from country, rock, noise, and various international traditions into an aesthetic as American as anything forged by Sousa, Presley, or Copland. Though specific projects such as film scores or songbooks constantly shift his focus in the short term, a macrosweep of his oeuvre shows how earthy twang, melodic wanderlust, and humid atmospheres infused with the wide-open spirit of the plains meld in his recordings. Earlier this year he released a spellbinding solo guitar album, Music Is (Okeh), a luxuriant survey of older original tunes along with some new ones. The project was sparked by an air of spontaneity that coursed through the guitarist following a weeklong solo residency at the Stone-the New York not-for-profit avant-garde and experimental space programmed by John Zorn.

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