Where the tarseal ends and the dust (or sludge) begins. Far North Queensland, Australia
Elsewhere by Graham Reid

music - travel - arts

Wide angle reviews, interviews and opinion by writer Graham Reid

bill frisell

Content tagged as bill frisell.

Carrie Rodriguez: Seven Angels on a Bicycle (EMI)

Carrie Rodriguez: Seven Angels on a Bicycle (EMI)

This album came out late last year but went largely ignored, even by me until I discovered it in a pile recently. And I'm very glad I did. Probably only known for her singing and fiddle playing with the great songwriter Chip Taylor -- check their 2005 Red Dog Tracks album -- this is Rodriguez' solo debut, and it's a real showcase. With...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007 Lucinda Williams: West (Universal)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007 Lucinda Williams: West (Universal)

Although saturated in the sadness which has affected her in recent years -- the break-up of a relationship, the death of her mother -- it would be unwise to presume that everything here has turned on those events: Williams is too smart and too poetic a writer to be quite that literal. That said, she concedes the opener Are You Alright? was...

Motian/Frisell/Lovano: Time and Time Again (ECM/Ode)

Motian/Frisell/Lovano: Time and Time Again (ECM/Ode)

These musicians -- drummer Paul Motian, guitarist Bill Frisell and saxophonist Joe Lovano -- are of the generation which has, by the attrition of age of those who preceeded them, are becoming the senior statesmen of jazz. Yes, figures such as Ornette Coleman and Joe Henderson are still around, but their output is so minimal as to be of...

Joe Henry; Civilians (Anti/Shock) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

Joe Henry; Civilians (Anti/Shock) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

With a small band, and guests Bill Frisell (on guitar) and Van Dyke Parks (piano), the much ignored Henry continues his singular path which owes a little to a less grumbly Tom Waits but remains properly in the singer-songwriter tradition with nods to folk and the blues. Here are classically-framed ballads (You Can't Fail Me Now) and songs...

Jacob Young: Sideways (ECM/Ode)

Jacob Young: Sideways (ECM/Ode)

With the same refined band as on his ECM debut of three years or so ago, this Norwegian-American guitarist has once again crafted an album of subtle shades, gentle lyricism and persuasive melodies. At times you may hear suggestions of Pat Metheny at his most quietly romantic, at other times Young steps aside to let trumper Matthias Eick or...

Bill Frisell Band: Lookout For Hope (ECM)

Bill Frisell Band: Lookout For Hope (ECM)

It would be a brave or foolish person who tried to give a snapshot of the career of this guitarist in just a few short sentences: so here goes a fool. Frisell came out of the Midwest (so there's some country, widescreen sensibilities and folk for you) and studied at Berklee with Jim Hall (some straight jazz into the mix). He became an...

JOHN SCOFIELD INTERVIEWED: Has guitar, will travel . . . and travel, and travel

JOHN SCOFIELD INTERVIEWED: Has guitar, will travel . . . and travel, and travel

Looking back now it is hard to recall how it all started and who we should blame – but suddenly in the mid-70s there they were, electric guitarists spitting out notes faster than shells from an Uzi. “Fingers scampering across the fret board like a mouse on Meth,” was how Playboy described a 1975 Jeff Beck album, and the...

JOE LOVANO, A CAREER CONSIDERATION (2004): Sax in every direction

JOE LOVANO, A CAREER CONSIDERATION (2004): Sax in every direction

About a month ago I was in New York and spoke to Bruce Lundvall, head of the Blue Note label. Lundvall is a jazz man from way back and has been a major player in shaping careers. He worked the jazz catalogue at Sony back when it was called Columbia, left to start the Elektra Musician label for Warners and has been helming Blue note for two...

JOE LOVANO INTERVIEWED (2008): Life is in the learning

JOE LOVANO INTERVIEWED (2008): Life is in the learning

At 55, Joe Lovano is one of the leading saxophonists of his generation, and has a career notable for its diversity. He has played straight ahead and swing, worked with Cuban musicians and orchestras, done an album of Sinatra songs, and has enjoyed two longtime musical relationships: one is with guitarist John Scofield whom he met at Berklee in...

McCoy Tyner: Guitars (Half Note)

McCoy Tyner: Guitars (Half Note)

This jazz giant will be 70 in December 2008 and can reflect on playing piano with the likes of John Coltrane in the 60s then a multi-faceted career as a leader, assimilator of world music possibilties, bands or albums with guitarist John Scofield, tenor players Joe Henderson and Joshua Redman, altoist Arthur Blythe and many other innovators....

Paul Simon: Surprise (Warners)

Paul Simon: Surprise (Warners)

From the Sounds of Silence through American Tune and beyond, 64-year-old Paul Simon has articulated the fears and hopes of his generation. Unlike Young on his leaden Living with War, for this new album - in a gagging, sentimental cover - Simon takes musical risks and extends himself. Brian Eno provides the sonic landscapes - loops,...

Joe Henry: Blood From Stars (Anti)

Joe Henry: Blood From Stars (Anti)

There is something pointless and not a little depressing writing about another fine Joe Henry album: the 18 people who love his work probably already know of the album, and as for the rest . . . ? I guess Henry is always destined to remain something of a private passion, but it is one that Elsewhere would (again) like to share. His last...

TERJE RYPDAL, ECM GUITARIST (2009): The career, and careering across the disc

TERJE RYPDAL, ECM GUITARIST (2009): The career, and careering across the disc

Like many artists on the ECM label, the Norwegian guitarist Terje Rypdal is largely faceless: you could have listened to his albums for decades as I have done and still pass him in the supermarket and not recognise him. By my count he’s done about 20 albums under his own name on ECM, and appeared on almost as many others as one of...

JAN GARBAREK, ECM SAXOPHONIST (2009): The times they have a-changed

JAN GARBAREK, ECM SAXOPHONIST (2009): The times they have a-changed

When my dad was boy he used to make his own crystal sets, small radio receivers so finely tuned if you breathed hard they’d go off the exotic overseas broadcast you were picking up. Within his lifetime he lived from crystal sets into the CD age. I thought of this when Jan Garbarek’s new album Dresden arrived in late 2009. I...

Jan Garbarek: Rites (ECM)

Jan Garbarek: Rites (ECM)

Norwegian saxophonist Garbarek scored a huge crossover album in 1995 with Officium which lined him up with the Hilliard Ensemble for an inspired marriage of the spiritual and the secular which ended up on many classical, jazz and even pop "best of" lists. Garbarek's biting, sometimes clinically incisive, tone has often been...

John Abercrombie Quartet: Wait Till You See Her (ECM/Ode)

John Abercrombie Quartet: Wait Till You See Her (ECM/Ode)

For the first two-thirds of this album featuring guitarist Abercrombie, violinist Mark Feldman, bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Joey Baron, the more vigorous emotions are kept in check: the tunes breeze by on Abercrombie's fluid and smooth, warm tone, Feldman offers the barests of suggestions of gypsy violin (and its attendant humours) -- and...

Joe Robinson: Time Jumpin' (Universal)

Joe Robinson: Time Jumpin' (Universal)

Not being a great watcher of mainstream television means I happily get to miss things like Australia's Got Talent. (I didn't doubt it, the Easybeats, the Church and AC/DC are great.) But that also means people like me miss someone like 18-year old acoustic guitarist Robinson who won the "play-off" in 2008. Let it be said...

Besser and Bravura: Decadence Live (Atoll)

Besser and Bravura: Decadence Live (Atoll)

The music of Auckland-based, New York-raised pianist/composer Jonathan Besser -- often with the group Bravura -- has long deserved a broader audience than the classical world which it inhabits. Working with guitarist Nigel Gavin, bassist Peter Scott and violin player Miranda Adams (among others) whose reach stretches to experimental music,...

Ralph Towner and Paolo Fresu: Chiaroscuro (ECM/Ode)

Ralph Towner and Paolo Fresu: Chiaroscuro (ECM/Ode)

The album title here perhaps suggest rather more shadowland than is evident in these beautiful, sometimes light-filled duets by acoustic guitarist Towner and flugel/trumpet player Fresu. Certainly they head to the shadows for a lovely treatment of Blue in Green (from Miles Davis' classic Kind of Blue), but with Towner's rich and inclusive...

Jeff Beck: Emotion and Commotion (Atco)

Jeff Beck: Emotion and Commotion (Atco)

Jeff Beck's career has certainly seem some troughs -- usually by virtue of his absence from playing when the mood didn't take him -- but latterly he has enjoyed some great highs. His recent touring reminded again of what a colourful palette he commands -- from fusion rock to great delicacy, often within the same piece -- and that he does...

ELVIS COSTELLO: SPECTACLE, SEASON ONE (Ovation/Southbound DVD set)

ELVIS COSTELLO: SPECTACLE, SEASON ONE (Ovation/Southbound DVD set)

Because television talk shows depend largely on the quality of the guests, Rove (the programme, not the man) will always be more interesting than any local production. When it comes to visiting artists and celebrities, Australia gets more passing trade. Imagine then the greater talent available in New York if you set up a music/talk...

Berne, Taborn, Formanek, Cleaver: The Rub and Spare Change (ECM/Ode)

Berne, Taborn, Formanek, Cleaver: The Rub and Spare Change (ECM/Ode)

Although you would be unwise to say any particular album seems unusual on ECM -- this is a label which has had Jan Garbarek with the Hilliard Ensemble, the noisecore of Lask and the Art Ensemble of Chicago -- this one out of Downtown NYC is unexpected. The composer here is bassist Michael Formanek who has been a mainstay of the Mingus Big...

JOHN McLAUGHLIN: Live in Paris . . . and New York

JOHN McLAUGHLIN: Live in Paris . . . and New York

The opening track on guitarist John McLaughlin's Live in Paris, usefully serves as a microcosm of his career. It starts slow, melodic and considered with McLaughlin peeling off memorable phrases, then picks up speed to hit a furious pace as he skitters around the fret-board like ferret freebasing. Things then cut back to irresistible...

Blood and Burger: Guitar Music (Derniere Bande)

Blood and Burger: Guitar Music (Derniere Bande)

The great jazz, post-Hendrix and entirely Elsewhere guitarist James Blood Ulmer delivered exceptional albums of post-Ornette Coleman harmolodic music such as Tales of Captain Black and Are You Glad To Be In America on John Snyder's short-lived but creditable Artist House label. But then he slowly evaporated from...

Buddy Miller: The Majestic Silver Strings (New West)

Buddy Miller: The Majestic Silver Strings (New West)

Although a supergroup of guitarists is at the core here -- the great Miller (of Emmylou Harris' band and  Robert Plant's Band of Joy among others) brings on board Marc Ribot, Bill Frisell and Greg Leisz whose names are on albums by Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Willie Nelson, many alt and straight country acts as well as ECM jazz albums -- the...

LUCINDA WILLIAMS INTERVIEWED (2007): Out of the Blue

LUCINDA WILLIAMS INTERVIEWED (2007): Out of the Blue

Almost 20 years ago on her self-titled album, Lucinda Williams sang Am I Too Blue, a penetratingly drained song about loneliness and self-doubt. If it hadn’t been for some flashes of jangling pop and a few light-hearted romps in the intervening years, the essence of Am I Too Blue and its honest weariness might stand as Williams’...

Jakszyk, Fripp, Collins: A Scarcity of Miracles (MPL)

Jakszyk, Fripp, Collins: A Scarcity of Miracles (MPL)

With the (almost) complete Pink Floyd catalogue being re-presented shortly, the Moody Blues arriving on our shores and bands like The Mars Volta, Radiohead and Porcupine Tree pushing the boundaries, there seems to be quite a lot of progressive rock, if not exactly old school prog-rock, out there. Of course it never really went away and...

NORAH JONES INTERVIEWED (2002 and 2003) AND ALBUM REVIEWS: Great Expectations -- and then some

NORAH JONES INTERVIEWED (2002 and 2003) AND ALBUM REVIEWS: Great Expectations -- and then some

Somebody up there obviously likes Norah Jones and blessed her with extraordinary good looks. Those are her cheekbones and ruby lips which have been replicated in their thousands and grace the cover of her album Come Away With Me.  And just in case her looks alone weren't enough to draw attention to this 22-year-old singer/pianist, that...

Motian/Lovano/Frisell; Time and Time Again (2007)

Motian/Lovano/Frisell; Time and Time Again (2007)

Because jazz is -- as the critic Leonard Feather noted in the closing overs of the last millennium -- the classical music of the 20th century, in it you can hear the human condition reflected. Or in other words, each generation creates the jazz it requires. In the post-war period things adopted a cooler and more sophisticated mood (less...

Djelimady Tounkara: Solon Kono (Harmonia Mundi)

Djelimady Tounkara: Solon Kono (Harmonia Mundi)

Guitarist Tounkara sometimes spins off notes like an avant-garde guitarist (he is admired by New York's Bill Frisell who has performed with him) but for this album he gets back onto acoustic guitar to work within the tradition of his homeland Mali on a set of songs which invite in the family and longtime friends. There are a couple of songs...

Various: Rogue's Gallery (Anti/Shock)

Various: Rogue's Gallery (Anti/Shock)

Believe it or not, when I was a kid my dad -- who had spent time at sea and was never happier than when on a ship -- not only played my Beatles and his Louis Armstrong albums with equal enjoyment, but would often bang on a Burl Ives album of sea shanties. My younger sister and I grew up to the sound of him singing, "My father was the...

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