Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Bill Frisell Big Sur Okeh 2013

Instrumental poetry inspired by the spatial grandeur of Big Sur.

Very few artists can venture off their more accustomed lyrical path in favor of the sonic road less travelled, Bill Frisell is one such artist. After a John Lennon tribute recording that garnered some luke warm attention, Frisell is back with a three dimensional sound scape of textured lyricism that may well be his finest work to date.

Any attempt to accurately categorize Frisell is to simply lay an arbitrary tag on where he may be musically at a specific point in time. Big Sur defies the accepted norms most critics and label executives feel comfortable in hanging on Frisell. Big Sur draw from a myriad of influences with perhaps the central focus serving as a cinematic and harmonically inventive riff on the chamber jazz phenomenon sweeping the east coast. Only fitting that the proverbial musical square peg should take solice and inspiration from time spent on the beautiful central California coastline. 

Wanna get away?

Frisell gives credit to his somewhat self imposed down time (the first ten day stay in April 2012) which included no cell phone, no set schedules, nothing planned other than quality time alone with his music. On Big Sur Frisell is joined by violinist Jenny Scheiman, violist Eyvind Kang, cellist Hank Roberts, and drumming phenom Rudy Royston. The end result is traditional Frisell harmonics but pushed into other realms of melodic creativity with hybrids of country, classical, folk and even rock. There is a strong group dynamic here, one harmonious train of melodic thought with an ebb and flow all to rare in similar recordings. 

Jazz is an improvisational music that is alive, organic and with a sense of perpetual forward motion. Bill Frisell hits all these marks with Big Sur. 

Tracks: The Music of Glen Deven Ranch; Sing Together Like A Family; A Good Spot; Going To California; The Big One; Somewhere; Gather Good Things; Cry Alone; The Animals; Highway 1; A Beautiful View; Hawks; We All Love Neil Young; Big Sur; On The Lookout; Shacked Up; Walking Stick (for Jim Cox); Song For Lana Weeks; Far Away.