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Paste - Notes From New York features Bill Frisell & John Scofield

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Welcome to Notes From New York, a monthly jazz column by Bill Milkowski that includes observations on the scene along with interview snippets, gossip and gig information.

Acclaimed guitarist and prolific composer Bill Frisell came to prominence in New York during the 1980s as an ECM recording artist. He lived in Hoboken, New Jersey, where the rents were cheaper and the city was accessible via public transportation. In 1988, Frisell and his family (wife Carole D'Inverno, daughter Monica Jane) moved to Seattle, where he remained for the next 28 years while racking up 25 albums as a leader for the Nonesuch label and another six for the Savoy and Okeh labels while also collaborating with the likes of Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt, Marianne Faithfull, Joe Jackson, Paul Simon, Allen Toussaint, Bono, Yo Yo Ma and Charles Lloyd. Now Frisell has returned to the New York area to begin the next phase of his remarkably productive career. "There's a lot of stuff going on, boy," said the unassuming 66-year-old artist in a recent interview. "We sold our house, put all of our stuff in storage and came here. We don't even have a place yet. We're temporarily staying at a place in Brooklyn, but we're looking for a place to buy. We just decided to do it really fast. It's crazy!" 

In a retrospective concert held in the Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center on May 5 and 6, recent Grammy-winner (for 2016's Country for Old Men) John Scofield revisited the music of two significant albums from his past-1986's Blue Matter and 1996's Quiet. Curated by Jazz at Lincoln Center's Jason Olaine, this rare evening presented two complementary sides of Scofield's considerable musicality. "Now I'm a different person, I'm into different stuff, but I'm really glad that I did it," said the acclaimed guitarist-composer and former Miles Davis sideman after the show. "In the case of Blue Matter, we hadn't played together in 30 years but the rehearsal was this joy fest, because we all really became good friends back in the ‘80s and we haven't spent much time together since then. So it just felt like home to me."