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Bill Frisell Takes On Screen Music / NPR: Weekend Edition Sunday

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NPR: Weekend Edition Feature

One of the world's most inventive guitarists and composers has recorded a tribute to some of his favorite music from TV and film. Bill Frisell's When You Wish Upon a Star covers the screen from Bonanza to The Godfather to the poignant themes of To Kill a Mockingbird. Set for release on January 29 via OKeh Records, the album is not only as an homage, but as a celebration of music-making with longtime collaborators and their collective commitment to refined interpretation of material. 

Produced by Lee Townsend (Loudon Wainwright III, John Scofield, Carrie Rodriguez), the LP brings together an all-star "dream team" of Frisell's frequent partners in crime: violist Eyvind Kang, drummer Rudy Royston, bass player Thomas Morgan and vocalist Petra Haden. Frisell describes the group of friends' unique process as beginning with listening to as many versions of the pieces as possible and committing any lyrics to heart, followed by total immersion in the original score (harmony, phrasing, arrangement), learning the notes and hours of practice. "Finally, when it's in the blood," he says, the musicians are ready to deliver their interpretations.

Frisell joined NPR's Rachel Martin to talk about how the music first came to him, and what it is about a well-crafted theme that can make it stick with you forever. LISTEN TO THE SEGMENT