Stories » Bill Frisell keeps his music provocative / Kansas City Star

Top 10 for Sep

Bill Frisell keeps his music provocative / Kansas City Star

Bookmark and Share

Guitarist Bill Frisell, one of the leading lights on his instrument for about three decades now, is putting a little bit of protest back in his music. His current group, a jazz/Americana project, features the unrepentant protest songs of Woody Guthrie. And he's bringing it to the Kansas City's White Theatre@Jewish Community Center this Friday March 5 as part of the Harriman-Jewell Series.

Frisell's note-bending playing has always had an elusive, lonesome quality - a quality in common with giants of American music from Hank Williams to John Coltrane. And it has been natural for Frisell to link his jazz with folk, country, pop and Americana: He has been doing it since the '80s.

For a show called "Woody Guthrie's Better World," he's bringing his Big Sur Quintet, with violinist Jenny Scheinman, violist Eyvind Kang, cellist Hank Roberts and drummer Rudy Royston. (You might remember Scheinman and Royston from a KC appearance with Ben Allison a few years ago.) The multiple-strings sound is a dramatic departure from just about every other jazz band on the road today. But departing from the norm doesn't scare Frisell.

Guitar-based events are fairly common around Kansas City, but everything about this one is distinctive. We've heard just about every other giant of jazz guitar in person more than we've heard from Frisell. So this genre-bending show is bound to be one of the highlights of the year.  SEE THE FULL Kansas City Star PAGE



Jazz has been used as entertainment music, dance music, background music and intellectual music.

But it has also had an important role as protest music, from the time when it seemed taboo to mix light-skinned and dark-skinned people on the bandstand, through the civil rights era and sometimes even now.



Read more here: