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Bill Frisell - Guitar in the Space Age / The Guardian review

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Guitar in the Space Age is an old-school electric guitar fan's album, played by one of the most creative guitar fans in the world. Bill Frisell is a lifelong lover of the quintessentially American invention, drawing on everything from Charlie Christian swing through 50s tremolo twangs to cutting-edge pedal technology. But it's also a fine display of bluegrass and rock-inspired contemporary music, in which Frisell's intelligent, jazz-informed sensibility is applied to 1950s and 60s classics by Duane Eddy, the Beach Boys, the Kinks and more. On a casual listen, he might seem to be treating the Chantays' Pipeline or the Junior Wells blues Messin' With the Kid as if he's still a teenage guitar prodigy who has just excitedly learned them off the singles – but in fact this is as serious, witty, layered and subtle as any of his more abstract work. Check out a rapturously tender Surfer Girl, a delicately spacey Tired of Waiting for You – and Kenny Wollesen's deep, casually flappy percussion, which elegantly counterbalances the metallic clangs all the way through. -John Fordham