- Bill Frisell
Infobox musical artist
Name = Bill Frisell
Background = non_vocal_instrumentalist
Birth_name = William Richard Frisell
March 18, 1951 Baltimore, Maryland
URL = [http://www.billfrisell.com/ Official website]
William Richard "Bill" Frisell (born
March 18, 1951) is an American guitaristand composer.
One of the leading guitarists in jazz since the late '80s Frisell's eclectic music touches on
progressive folk, classical music, country music, noise and more. He is known for using an array of effects (delay, distortion, reverb, octave shifters, and volume pedals, to name a few) to create unique sounds from his instrument.
Early life and career
Frisell was born in
Baltimore, Maryland, but spent most of his youth in the Denver, Coloradoarea. He played clarinetas a youth, and went to the University of Northern Coloradoto study music.
His original guitar teacher in the Denver area was Dale Bruning, with whom Frisell released the 2000 duo album "Reunion". After graduating from Northern Colorado, where he studied with Johnny Smith, Frisell went to the
Berklee School of Musicin Bostonand studied with Jim Hall.
The ECM Records years
Frisell's major break came when guitarist
Pat Methenywas unable to make a recording session, and recommended Frisell to Paul Motianwho was recording "Psalm" (1982) for ECM Records[Jung, F. [http://www.jazzweekly.com/interviews/motian.htm A Fireside Chat with Paul Motian] . "Jazz Weekly"] . Frisell became ECM's in-house guitar player, and worked on several albums, most notably Jan Garbarek's 1981 "Paths, Prints". Frisell's first solo release was " In Line" featured solo guitar and duets with from bassist Arild Andersen.
New York City era
Frisell's first group to receive much acclaim was a quartet with
Kermit Driscollon bass, Joey Baronon drums, and Hank Robertson cello (later slimmed down to a trio when Roberts left). Many other albums with larger ensembles were recorded with this group as the core.
In the 1980s Frisell lived in
New York Cityand was an active participant in the city's music scene. He forged an early partnership with John Zorn—including as a member of quick-change band Naked City—and performed or recorded with many others. He also became known for his work in drummer Paul Motian's trio, along with saxophonist Joe Lovano.
The Seattle Years
In 1988 Frisell left New York City and moved to
Seattle, Washington. [Seven, R. (2001) [http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/pacificnw/2001/0422/cover.html The Sound of One Man Dreaming] . "Pacific Northwest Magazine".] In the early 1990s Frisell made two of his most celebratedFact|date=June 2008 albums: first, "Have a Little Faith", an ambitious survey of Americana of all stripes, from Charles Ivesand Aaron Copland(the entirety of "Billy the Kid") to John Hiatt(the title song), Bob Dylan(" Just Like A Woman") and Madonna (a lengthy, psychedelic rock-tinged version of "Live to Tell"); and second, "This Land", a complementary set of originals. He also branched out by performing soundtracks to silent films of Buster Keatonwith his trio, and contributed to Ryuichi Sakamoto's album "Heartbeat".
In the mid-1990s, Frisell disbanded his trio. He continued the trend marked by "Have a Little Faith" by more explicitly incorporating elements of bluegrass and
country musicinto his music. His friendship with Gary Larsonled him to provide music for the TV version of " The Far Side" [ [http://www.billfrisell.com/index-bio.htm Bill Frisell Biography] ] (released on the album "Quartet" along with music written for Keaton's " Convict 13").
Several of Frisell's songs, including "Over the Rainbow" and "Coffaro's Theme", were featured in the movie "
Finding Forrester" (2000).
In 1999, Frisell was commissioned by the
Walker Arts Centerin Minneapolis, Minnesotato compose " Blues Dream", which he premiered on November 15, 1999. He later recorded the work for a 2001 release on Nonesuch.
Also in 1999, he released "
The Sweetest Punch" which featured a seven-piece jazz ensemble reworking the tunes written and recorded by Elvis Costelloand Burt Bacharachon " Painted from Memory". [http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/elviscostello/albums/album/176480/review/6211257/the_sweetest_punch_songs_of_elvis_costello_and_burt_bacharach The Sweetest Punch: Songs of Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach] "Rolling Stone" review.]
Between 2003 and 2005 Frisell acted as musical director for
Century of Song, a series of concerts at the German arts festival RuhrTriennale(produced by Lee Townsend). Frisell invited artists including Rickie Lee Jones, Elvis Costello, Suzanne Vega, Arto Lindsay, Loudon Wainwright III, Vic Chesnutt, Van Dyke Parks, Buddy Miller, Ron Sexsmithand Chip Taylorto perform their favorite songs in new arrangements.
In 2003, Frisell's "
The Intercontinentals" was nominated for a Grammy award; he won the 2005 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Jazz Albumfor his album "Unspeakable".
Frisell made a guest appearance on Earth's 2008 album, "
The Bees Made Honey in the Lion's Skull". He also wrote the music for Ruby Yang's documentary film" Tongzhi in Love" (2008).
*"SOLOS: the jazz sessions" (2004) Bravo! Canada
*Zorn, John, ed. (2000). "Arcana: Musicians on Music". New York: Granary Books/Hips Road. ISBN 188712327X.
* [http://www.jazzguitar.be/guitar_rig_bill_frisell.html Equipment]
* [http://www.billfrisell.com/ Official site]
* [http://www.jazzcds.co.uk/artist_id_937/biography_id_937 Bill Frisell Biography (via Jazz CDs)]
* [http://www.bryanaaker.net/ The Bill Frisell Discography]
* [http://www.geocities.com/enalnitram/book.html Bill Frisell Solo Transcriptions]
* [http://brucecmoore.com/pages/frisell.html Live performance images]
* [http://www.geocities.com/BourbonStreet/Delta/2495/bill_frz.htm The Bill Frisell Compositions database]
* [http://www.jazzchicago.net/reviews/billfris.html Recent concert review of Bill Frisell at JazzChicago.net]
* [http://www.afropop.org/multi/interview/ID/44/Bill+Frisell%3A+2003 2003 Afropop Worldwide Interview with Bill Frisell]
* [http://www.stateofmindmusic.com/?entry=246 2008 State of Mind Music Conversation with Bill Frisell]
* [http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=14982703 Bill Frisell at NPR Music]
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