Stories » Bill Frisell plays 'Guitar in the Space Age' set for Rochester Jazz Festival / City Newspaper review

Top 10 for Sep

Bill Frisell plays 'Guitar in the Space Age' set for Rochester Jazz Festival / City Newspaper review

Bookmark and Share

The tunes that guitar wizard Bill Frisell selected for his "Guitar in the Space Age" set at Kilbourn Hall were double-dipped in novocain, pumped with helium, and set adrift to cascade and careen about the packed hall.

This was Frisell waxing a little more rudimentary than usual. It's not to say he is ordinarily tuneless. It's just that he has a heightened sense of melody. Not one to dumb it down, Frisell keeps it trippy and abstract -- except tonight where he adhered to melodies that the average Joe could more easily pluck out of the air.

Tunes by the Kinks, the Beach Boys, the Ventures, Steely Dan, and Lynyrd Skynyrd got the Frisell treatment, which this time meant playing closer to the tune as opposed to taking the six-string expressway to the moon. What didn't change were the dreamy soundscapes and the master's curious and picturesque refrain. It was over entirely too soon. What a gas.