Bill Frisell Solo Posted on February 10, 2018 by guitar moderneI‘m interviewing Bill Frisell Monday Feb 12 about his new solo record, Music Is. Any questions?
Can you ask Bill if he has ever tried a Catalinbread Bicycle delay? I think he could do wonderful things with one.
Your site is consistently classy and interesting. Keep up the good work!
Glad you like the site. I only have a half hour with him so I may not have time to ask about various effects unless he used them on the new record. But i agree that one seems iin his wheelhouse
I love your site, Michael, and I have followed and loved Bill from his ECM days, up to the present day. You are a lucky man to get a chance to talk with him again.
If I had a chance to ask him a question, the three that come to mind are:
1. After all these years, what aspects of his playing does he think he would like improve upon and how does he work towards that goal (practice regime, self-education etc.) ?
2. Are there any musicians that he would love a chance to work with that he hasn’t had a chance to yet?
3. I love all aspects of Bill’s playing but some of his fans have noticed a little bit of “mellowing out” in his tonal choices over the years. You might ask him what inspires him still to make some noise and chaos at this stage of his career, and does he think might create some more sonic mayhem in the future (with or without John Zorn having some involvement)?
Looking forward to reading the interview and hearing Bill’s new album…keep up the great work, Michael!
Great questions. I think you will be pleased with the new record. He does revisit some more dissonant sounds.
sensible questions, if i may speak out, Greg, those that you kindly share here with us, great questions, actually, in the light of the album that’s already been published by time i’m writing.
reading which questions, on another level, makes me wonder how many, among Bill’s fans, have missed his Silent Comedy album that (John Zorn’s) Tzadik label published in (already distant) year 2013?
it seems like yesterday, at once, but it seems the world didn’t notice it, either.
even during these last weeks, when Bill’s most recent solo album Music IS has been reviewed or presented, most of the press quoted “Ghost Town” as his second and last solo album, sadly and totally ignoring the mere existence of Silent Comedy in his discography.
well, it sure has some John Zorn’s involvement built right in (it’s his label, and not “after all”), but Silent Comedy is without much doubt Bill Frisell’s most unconfined and unbridled record work, and one that’s not for the faint of heart, in the least.
Music IS is quite a surprise to my ear, because it has no resemblance with any of Bill’s solo albums from the past (beside having the “solo” box ticked), and at the same time it still feels undeniably his own, although totally new in many ways.
sure, you can still say “it’s Bill” from listening to any track in it, and for less than two bars in a row, but somehow the way it’s been arranged sounds different from his usual signature to my ear.
still i am (and i believe not alone in my) waiting to read the interview that Michael kindly announced with this clever round of open-mic questions.
i’m more than pleased by the record, and i believe there can only be more to it in an interview to his (most candid) arrangements author and sole performer, if it is conducted by Michael’s usual touch and spark.
thank you, Greg.
well, and thank you, Michael, for this forum, ça va sans dire.
I asked him about Silent Comedy. He wasn’t aware of the promo pitch, but he said maybe it was because that was a quickie, one day (I think he said four hour), real time improv session, he doesn’t think of it like his other solo records. In any case, I’m glad my research turned it up, as I had never heard it.
Theodore, thank you for your comments…it was actually Silent Comedy that was in my head when I referred to Bill’s unhinged side. There are some nicely dissonant note choices in a number of the pieces on the new record and “Think About it” and “Kentucky Derby” rock out with some distortion recalling some of my favourite Bill “Mr Hyde” musical moments. Enjoyable all around album. When (and possibly, where?) are we going to see the results of your interview, Michael? I’m sure we all will be quite interested in what thoughts you might have teased out of the master…
The interview was for Guitar Player. As to when – that is up to the editorial gods
thanks for the reply, Michael…that was my guess, since Premier Guitar already printed their Frisell interview (and it wasn’t yours…). Hope the gods (or god…) place it soon.
I think Bill is a master in both the way he makes melodies, which cold be compared to a wind instrumentalists (it is always said that that comes from his past as a clarinet player), but also in the way he makes harmonies and counterpoints, much as a piano player does, specially when he plays solo (he also talks often on how much he loves Thelonius Monk). So, I’d like to know from him whether he tries to emulate any instrument in the guitar, or if he thinks in other instruments while working his arrangements.
What a pleasure to have the chance to talk with such an amazing musician and a humble and lovely person.
Beautiful sound from that Gretsch! Going to see Bill and Julian Lage at the Savannah Music Fest in April.
First time I have ever seen him play one
…and last, it seems, if this sales ad has to be credited: http://www.myjazzhome.com/frisell/gretsch.shtml